God works in some pretty unconventional ways in Susan May Warren and Susan K. Downs’ novel, The Sovereign’s Daughter. The eldest grand duchess of imperial Russia, Olga Nikolaevna Romanova, switches places with her lookalike chambermaid, Oksana, under the instruction of her father, the tsar, in order to escape the fate of the Romanovs and preserve the royal line. The tsar entrusts her into the care of a Mennonite merchant, Anton Klassen, whose pacifistic beliefs prevent him from fighting, even in self defense. As they find themselves hiding everywhere from Mennonite farmlands to Orthodox monasteries and convents, they discover both an unexpected romance and a courage that only God can provide.
This story is an interesting take on what could have happened had an escape route been planned for Olga, though, as the authors acknowledge in their note to readers, in all likelihood, Olga was murdered with the rest of her family. Unfortunately, the interesting premise was let down by unrealistic characters and dialogue. The authors did an excellent job of researching and utilizing Russian customs, culture, and phrases throughout the novel, but it seemed as though the actual story suffered in favor of that research. This novel is also set up to lead into a series, leaving one major loose end at the end.
Overall, this novel is a typical romance that will leave you with a good message and some insight into Russian culture and the Romanov family, but nothing truly earth-shattering or life-changing. -- Shannon Potelicki, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com
When revolution threatens the lives of the royal Romanov family, Imperial Tsar Nikolai is forced to entrust critical state secrets to a lowly chambermaid and a backward Mennonite merchant. Anton Klassen must protect the woman the tsar has put into his care. But the insecure young man from the steppes of South Russia's Mennonite farmland is no match for enemy forces, who stop at nothing to seek out and destroy Anton's charge. . .and with her, the imperial secrets she carries. Only faith in the promises of God can save the sovereign's daughter and those responsible for her safekeeping.