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Wednesday Weekly

Empress Of The Night:

A Novel of Catherine the Great

By Eva Stachniak


Hello again!! Is it Wednesday already? Today’s book was one I won in the LibraryThing Early Reviewers program. I received it for free in exchange for an honest review.

This is the second of Stachniak’s series about Catherine The Great. It appears that I have not read the first book, The Winter Palace.¬†This was first published September of 2013 and has been re-released March 25, 2014 by Bantam publishing. It is a bit long at 400 pages. What a beautiful cover.



Catherine The Great is becoming a current favorite among historical fiction readers. I only recall reading one book about her and that is Robert Massie’s.


The Empress of the Night starts with the death of Catherine and weaves us back to the beginning using her memories. The book eventually returns to her death at the end. There is a small part about Peter the Great, but not much. The novel concentrates mostly on her insatiable love interests and her love for her grandson Alexander. We are led to believe that her son Paul is not the child of Peter the Great. This is a different take on the issue of Paul’s birth. I happen to remember in previous reading that while Peter was supposed to prefer relations with men that he also had relations with his wife and that Paul was his son. So that is a new slant on things.

Okay I have a bad confession to make. I fell asleep several times reading this one. I did not connect well with this story. I think that it was not as engaging as I would have liked. This book seems to lack something. I think it is a little too clean. With a name like the Empress of the Night I think I was looking for some racier action. It needed some spice. I think if you want to read about Catherine start with Massie’s book and go from there. It may have been better had I read the Winter Palace first? I give this book a 3 out of 5 stars.



2 thoughts on “Wednesday Weekly

  1. This book could have been great, there were parts where I was genuinely absorbed in what was going on. But a combination of her writing style and her plotting methods wrecked it for me.

    • Writing style is part a gift of talent and part well developed skills. I think many writers take a while to develop this. I would look for her books in the future to improve as she perfects her skills. Often a writer’s best books are written towards the end of their careers.I think she is an author to keep an eye on!!!

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