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Romanov sisters: Marie, Anastasia, Tatiana and Olga
This new novel, by Steven Ingman-Greer, takes us back to the last years of Imperial Russia as told through the voice of the second daughter of the ill-fated Romanov family, the Grand Duchess Tatiana. The narrative structure takes the form of Tatiana’s diary, with occasional entries by other characters at points in the text where it is necessary to keep the plot moving but the main narrator is unable to write.
The first part of the book explores Tatiana’s childhood as she grows up in the Imperial Household. Her liveliness and vitality are beautifully penned: she is brought back as a living, breathing girl through the skill of the author. Her love of music is infectious, to the point where it should not alarm readers if they hear faint strains of Rachmaninov playing in their heads whilst reading. Sadly, it is her love of music that causes a major problem for her later in the novel.
Tatiana’s relationships within her family are explored and her complex emotions and thoughts are confessed to her diary. Her closeness to her sister, Olga, and to her father, Tsar Nicholas II, develop against her growing awareness of who her family are; the political uncertainties of Russia in the first decade of the 20th C and the tensions caused by the First World War. Needless to say, Rasputin is an influence in her life, given his closeness to the Imperial family and their dependence on him to cure her small brother, the heir to the dynasty, when he bleeds due to his haemophilia. However, the Rasputin portrayed in this novel is not the lascivious, slobbering puppet-master we are familiar with via popular media, but an intelligent, thoughtful and spiritual guide from whom Tatiana and Olga learn much about Russia and about themselves.
The events of the first section of the book take place as anyone familiar with the historical story would expect. And we would expect the tale to end in 1918 – because that is what the official histories say: the Romanovs were executed. Over the years, there have been many stories that not all of the Royal Family were executed and that Anastasia, the youngest daughter, escaped. Ingman-Greer explores this and gives his readers much to think about in his version of events. Anastasia did indeed escape – but not for long.
Part II of the novel picks up where the official histories end and explores the premise that it was Tatiana – not Anastasia – who survived. The author has drawn on a variety of documents to construct this section of his narrative. He tells an intriguing story that could be checked by anyone inclined to do so, as his sources are cited. If you would like to know what Ingman-Greer says happened – read the book. It is an extremely good read, but it would be unfair to discuss the labyrinth of plotting and political shenanigans in this part of the plot. To do so really would spoil the story for those who have not read it yet. But the Tatiana who survived eight years after her family were murdered is one whom the reader will warm to and feel sympathetic towards as she tries to negotiate her way back into life from a position of being officially dead. This Tatiana is one who carried the wisdom, strength and teachings of Rasputin into her new life.
Ingman-Greer’s novel is beautifully constructed, thought-provoking and a highly recommended ‘must read’ for fans of historical fiction.
Fiona Tinker, Author, August 2013
This brilliant epic drama, seen through the eyes of HIH Grand Duchess Tatiana in her evocative diary entries of the last days of the last Imperial Family of Russia, gives a totally new and provocative insight into the lives and fate of the Romanovs. Set against the background of the gathering storm of revolution, omens of doom and irrevocable loss, Tatiana's story glowingly illuminates the dimensions of personal despair to rise phoenix-like from the ashes of human failings into the light of a spiritual transformation which transcends time. Throughout the narrative, almost you can hear, as from a distance, the music of Tatiana's tutor, Sergei Rachmaninov, carrying the ongoing theme with the underlying passion of a symphony. This is a truly astounding first novel by Steven Ingman-Greer! 5 Stars
Fragile, Beautiful, Evocative and Mysterious Lost Eagle: The Untold Story of HIH Grand Duchess Tatiana of Russia 1897-1926 is based on the premise that Larrisa F Tudor is infact Tatiana Romanov. The author gives a background on Larissa for those who don't know and interestingly compares the story of Tatiana/Larissa to that of Tatiana Romanova the Bond heroine in the preface. The book is in diary form and it blends ghosts, nature and the lost splendor of the Romanov's throughout the book. When I look back on reading the book everything is bathed in a blinding white light which is a common theme throughout the novel. We follow Tatiana from a dream state, to the terror of the revolution (even an alternate ending to what we are taught happened on that night in July), green exile and later darkness. This book is characterised by colours and you will remember them long after you put the book down. 5 Stars
A brilliant first novel by Steven. Great use of imagery and characterisation. The historic and mysterious content was enthralling, I couldn't put it down! The spiritual theme/undertones throughout the novel made it a trully magical experience. Can't wait for the next book!! 5 Stars
Absolutely amazing first novel from Steven. An untold story about the Romanov's through the eyes of Tatiana. A great insight into what was shrouded in mystery. Most people know about Anastasia, but this is the first about Tatiana. Well done Steven can't wait for the movie and follow up. 5 Stars
I'm reading the last few pages now of Lost Eagle, by Steven Ingman-Greer, and I can't tell you how much I am enjoying this book. The story itself is moving, and I am enchanted by this most remarkable family. Such a beautiful, haunting love story - of a deep and infinite love between sisters that goes beyond time. I am finding myself looking for more and more information about the Romanovs now, especially Olga and Tatiana. The spiritual & mystical aspects of the sisters' lives and the eternal nature of their relationship has been particularly moving to me. There are powerful messages here. Steven has written this story with sensitivity, insight and grace. Highly recommended. 5 Stars.
Lost Eagle is an emotional tour de force. A truly astounding first novel from Steven Ingman-Greer.