- Taschenbuch: 448 Seiten
- Verlag: Ballantine Books; Auflage: Reprint (27. November 2007)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 0345504399
- ISBN-13: 978-0345504395
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 10,7 x 2,8 x 19 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 3 Kundenrezensionen
- Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 552.052 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
The Romanov Prophecy: A Novel (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 27. November 2007
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Praise for Steve Berry
The Romanov Prophecy
“READERS WHO ENJOY THE BOOKS OF DAN BROWN AND DANIEL SILVA WILL ENJOY THE ROMANOV PROPHECY, TOO. This is a wild roller-coaster ride, with explosive action and compelling suspense, delving into one of the great mysteries of our time.”
–SHARON KAY PENMAN, author of Time and Chance
The Amber Room
“SEXY, ILLUMINATING, AND CONFIDENT . . . a globe-trotting treasure hunt packed with exotic locales, sumptuous art, and ruthless villains.
Steve Berry writes with the self-assured style of a veteran.”
–DAN BROWN, author of The Da Vinci Code
“COMPELLING . . . ADVENTURE-FILLED . . . a fast-moving, globe-hopping tale of long-lost treasure and shadowy bad guys.”
–San Francisco Chronicle
“MAGNIFICENTLY ENGROSSING, with wonderful characters and a plot that speeds, twists, and turns. Pure intrigue, pure fun.”
From the Hardcover edition.
After the fall of Communism and a vote on the part of the Russian people to bring back the Tsar, to be chosen from the distant relatives of Nicholas II, Atlanta attorney Miles Lord heads for Moscow with the assignment to perform a background check on one of the candidates, but his assignment soon turns unexpectedly dangerous. Reprint. -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine vergriffene oder nicht verfügbare Ausgabe dieses Titels.Alle Produktbeschreibungen
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Steven Berry based his thriller on the present state of Russia, the actual disputes in the Romananov family over the question of the headship of the House, the prophecies of Rasputin and most of all on the eternal mystery what has happend to the last Imperial Family. All this is a perfect background for this action filled thriller which indeed grabs the readers attention right from the start. The story develops quickly, the personalities are convincing and the plot intriguing. It was a page turner for me and I wanted to know what happens next. So never a dull moment.
I agree with the previous reviewer that the chases were a bit too much. I feel that certain aspects a bit far fetched. That he turned Prince Felix Juppussov into the "hero" who engeneered the long-term survival of the the Imperial Famnily was a bit difficult to stomach but it was cleverly done.
All in all, a book I enjoyed reading as it stimulates one' s phantasy
Despite the all-too predictable ending, this is a great book to read if you like this historical period.
Following an american lawyer to try to find a new tsar, who is thought to rule Russia after the Communists failed. The journey brings you to important places in the history of Russia and also to the US.
To tell you more about the plot is not necessary.
Read it, I am sure you will be delighted.
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The book is built upon that much debunked but won't die theory that one or more of the Romanov children escaped the basement in Ekateranberg where the rest of the Imperial family was murdered. Because the escape of at least one child, Anastasia, is a well known urban myth, the plot will feel familiar to those who don't know a whole lot about the former Imperial rulers of Russia.
The plot is plausable once you get over the fact that the entire urban myth about any Romanov's surviving the murder scene is laughable and has no basis in reality. But getting over that isn't hard if all you want is a good read. It is, after all, a fiction book.
The chase and escape scenes are at least as well done and believable as those in The DeVinci Code with the exception of one towards the end of the book. But because it is fiction, I'm inclined to give the author a pass on that scene.
The premise of a Russian return to tsarism in the book, while far fetched, isn't out of the relm of eventual possibility as Russians search to rid themselves of the mafia style oligarchs that have hijacked their attempts at dimocracy and find a style of government that actually can deliver on its promises.
The author has also provided an extremely well designed premise for how Anastasia and Alexi could have survived the murder of their family and stayed in hiding throughout Lenin and Stalin's regimes. He builds well upon the Russian hiding of so much in their archives and Stalin's well known paranoia. If anyone would have gone to great lengths to cover an escape up had he known about it, it would be Stalin.
I also give the author credit for not claiming, unlike another well known author, save for some quotations from Rasputin and character sketches of some of the dead Romanovs and other people that appear in the book, that ANY of this fiction is real.
If you're looking for a good read based upon real historical people, this book is it.
At one point during his seach, Miles Lord was deep in thought in the stacks of a Russian archive library, examining some recently de-classified top secret papers. When he was interrupted by Semyon Pashenko, professor of history at Moscow University, he commented " ... I was back in 1916 for an instant. Reading this stuff is like time travel." How appropriate for Berry to put such a statement into the mouth of his hero. I completely agree - that's exactly what reading a historical thriller should be! The transition from meticulously researched background to speculation, then into fiction and full throttle thriller and back again should be completely seamless and effortless. From this viewpoint, The Romanov Prophecy succeeds reasonably well.
But, insofar as the modern thriller part of the novel is concern, Berry's efforts are pretty weak fare. The love interest, Akilina Petrovna, a circus gymnast Lord meets during a train sequence in one of the overly frequent chase scenes, is cute, cuddly and warm. But, what the heck, she's mandatory! Who would expect a novel like this to be without some version of a femme? Orleg and Droopy, the Russian Mafia thugs are perhaps intended to be comic in some fashion - who can forget Mr Wint and Mr Kidd from 007's "Diamonds are Forever" - but their hapless efforts to chase down Lord only get them recognition as "Dumb and Dumber". Character development in general is one-dimensional. In particular, Berry makes no attempt at all to explain why Lord and Petrovna were destined to fulfill the roles of the Raven and the Eagle in a multi-national achievement of a 100 year old prophesy babbled by Rasputin just before he died. We are left to merely wonder what happened to the Russian members of the power cartel after Thorn's ascension to the throne and Baklanov's failure in the commission's vote!
Don't go into this one with high expectations! If you're looking for a pure escapist thriller, you won't be disappointed - the scenes with the gorillas and the Russian borzoi hounds are pure Hollywood gone right over the top. Forget trying to find anything deeper - it just isn't there! Sit back, read, enjoy and have fun - don't think too hard about it.
The Romanov Prophecy opens in modern day Russia. The Russian people are tired of the lawlessness and economic uncertainty that have plagued their country since the fall of communism, and have decided to restore the monarchy. A 17 member independent Tsarist Commission has been appointed to find the "true" tsar. There are nine or ten Romanov claimants that need to be investigated. Stefan Baklanov seems to be the frontrunner, and his claim is bolstered by a secret group consisting of government officials, the military, the Russian Orthodox Church, the Russian Mafia and a group of American businessmen with companies in Russia. Their goal is to bribe the members of the Tsarist Commission to make sure Stefan assumes the crown, and then control the new tsar like a puppet. The American's are financing this plot through an American law firm, Pridgen and Woodworth.
The main character, Miles Lord, is an African American lawyer from South Carolina who speaks fluent Russian. An employee of Pridgen and Woodworth, his job is to sift through Russian archives to find anything that might affect Baklanov's claim to the throne. After weeks of research, Lord finds documents (one from Lenin) that allude to the fact that several of Tsar Nicholas II's children survived the massacre in Yekaterinburg. But this new evidence now proves dangerous to Lord, and those representing Baklanov now want Lord killed. Lord gains the assistance of a beautiful acrobat in the Russian Circus, and together, they try to flee those trying to kill him. He is assisted by a secret organization, and must find clues and solve puzzles to discover the true secret of the Romanov's fate. Of course, he also must travel extensively at breakneck speed. In this sense, The Romanov Prophecy reads like John Grisham meets Dan Brown (The DaVinci Code).
While I enjoy historical fiction and I am not opposed to a little fantasy, The Romanov Prophecy is just too unbelievable. The fact that the Russian's would restore the monarchy is perhaps the biggest stretch of all. Also, do we really think that so many Russian factions (mafia, church, military, etc.) would all agree on anything? Or that two Russian mafia goons and a corrupt policeman could travel the world chasing Lord, without any problems with passports and visas? Or that the FBI and American police would be so easily fooled by the Russians without double checking? Or that the KGB has informants in US banks where they monitor bank accounts and safety deposit boxes that might still contain tsarist gold? Also, Lord is supposed to be a brilliant lawyer, but he's totally clueless in figuring out who is betraying him (it takes more than a house to fall on Lord).
So while I enjoyed The Romanov Prophecy and was anxious to see how it played out, I just think it had the potential to be so much more. Still, I gave it three stars as it combines two of my favorites-Romanov history in a mystery setting.
His incorrect Russian was like a fingernail dragging across a chalkboard through the whole novel. Instead of Nikolskiy prospect, we get Nikolskaya. A babushka becomes a bobushka. And he dresses a Russian policeman in a woman's hat or "shlapa," which is actually written shlyapa. That's hardly an exhaustive list. Orleg (did he mean Oleg?) eats his bliny like an American, using syrup, rather than tvarog and jam.
Not that Berry's English is all that powerful. "And other than the man in the archives, whom he'd thought might be watching ..." Whom? Who would do just fine. Unleashing his creativity to write in a staccato, hard-boiled style, Berry pens: "He spent at least nine weeks a year traveling the world on expeditions. Canadian caribou and geese. Asian pheasant and wild sheep. European red stag and fox. ...." I don't think semi-colons would spoil the canvas here.
Don't expect any psychological depth from Berry's characters. Insights on what makes his characters tick appear as afterthoughts, plopped down on paper. Chapter 18 ends with: "Just like his father." Clunk. Evil-doer Hayes stands on a hill overlooking Moscow where "the Kremlin cathedrals peaked through a cold haze like tombstones in a fog." Is Hayes sensing his own death? He doesn't appear to be. So what's the reader to make of this image? Don't dig deeply. My guess is that it's only a doodad to give the work the semblance of the profound thought and observation expected in good literature.
Believability is an important quality of fiction. Berry lost all believability when he wrote that DNA testing confirmed that Michael Thorn was directly descended from the Russian Tsar Nicholas. He stated that Michael's "genetic structure matched Nicholas's exactly, even containing the same mutation scientists had found when Nicholas's bones were identified in 1994."
In the case Berry refers to, scientists tested mitochondrial DNA, which is only passed down the female line. Michael's mother got her mitochondrial DNA from her mother. Her mother got hers from her mother, etc.
If Michael Thorn's mitochondrial DNA matches Nicholas's, then Michael Thorn's mother is related to a female in Nicholas's mother's family.
Yet, that can't be. Berry states that Michael Thorn's mother, a Russian refugee living in America, was "Russian born to noble blood." Nicholas's mother's family is Danish. Thus, the results of the DNA test actually mean that Michael Thorn is not the Tsar. When science speaks, Berry's story disappears. That's just plain sloppy writing and editing.
Berry seems to have developed a recipe: take a foreign vacation, find colorful sights, take copious notes for descriptions, salt and pepper with foreign words, boil down local history to Cliff Notes sketches and attach them to scenery, simmer with a stock plot, and voila!
The wild twists and turns start with a plebiscite to determine whether the Russian government should return to an autocracy. Steve Berry, the author, works hard to convince the reader that a democratic people would agree to such a thing. The Russian mafia is out of control; the Russian people's mystical relationship with the Tsar is another argument.
The hero of the piece is Miles Lord a lawyer working for Pridgen & Woodworth, an American law firm promoting the candidacy of Stefan Baklanov. Unbeknownst to Lord, his immediate boss, Taylor Hayes, is part of a conspiracy of Russian mafia, former Communist party aparchniks, and America businessmen who want to establish a puppet Russian government under Baklanov. It's Lord's job to make sure Baklanov doesn't have any skeletons in his closet. While researching in the Russian archives, he stumbles across papers that point to the possible survival of two of Nicholas II's children. Now Lord's life is at risk as Hayes and his fellow conspirators set out to silence him. Hayes's underlings chase Lord all over Russia, across the Pacific to San Francisco and across America to North Carolina. Lord has more lives than the proverbial cat. Not even the gorillas (real ones) in a San Francisco zoo can stop him.
Surprisingly, the above worked for me. I guess it was because I hadn't had a Romanov fix since THE KITCHEN BOY by Robert Alexander. Berry keeps us guessing most of the way. Did one or more of the Romanov children survive the massacre at Yaketerinburg? I think most of us Romanov lovers want that to be true, and Berry makes good use of historical accounts from Bolshevik guards etc. to make it seem plausible.