The Last Grand Duchess [Book Review]

February 7, 2022

The Last Grand Duchess by Bryn Turnbull

The Last Grand Duchess by Bryn Turnbull (cover) Image: side profile of a woman wearing a white lace shawl and long strands of pearls

Genre/Categories/Setting: Historical Fiction, Family Drama, Russia, the Romanovs

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

Welcome to my stop on the @HTPBooks Harlequin Trade Press Publishing’s 2022 Winter Blog Tour for Historical Fiction. Thanks #NetGalley @HarlequinBooks for my complimentary eARC of #TheLastGrandDuchess upon my request. All opinions are my own.

The Last Grand Duchess is the story of Olga Romanov and the Romanov family in their last years. We hear about Olga’s sheltered life living with her parents and siblings. Often present is Grigori Rasputin, a controversial priest and friend of the tsarina. As Olga divides her time between suitors, home, elegant ballrooms, and hospitals, she and the family face increasing danger from political unrest and home confinement.

Olga Romanov sits at a table reading a book

Olga Romanov

My Thoughts:

Well Written and Researched: Readers who enjoy Russian history will appreciate the historical details, well-drawn characters, and excellent writing. This was an interesting reading experience because I felt I guarded against becoming too attached to this tragic family because I know their future. I enjoyed the many vivid details the author used to portray their life and the dangerous circumstances.

The Ending (***Spoilers***): I’m grateful that the author relayed the ending in the broadest of terms without graphic details (you can read those on Wikipedia). Fear of a graphic ending need not discourage you from reading this story. It’s handled as delicately as possible and stops short of the actual execution.

Family Dynamics: I enjoy a story with complicated family dynamics. Olga and her sisters were extremely loyal to their closeknit family as they face betrayal, poor decisions by parents, pressure from extended family, a controversial family friend, a sickly brother, political unrest, house arrest, and romance.

Recommended: I enthusiasticly recommend The Last Grand Duchess for fans of well-researched and well-written historical fiction and for those who are fascinated with the Romanov family and Russian history.

You might also be interested in I Was Anastasia by Ariel Lawhawn about the youngest Romanov sister.

***contains spoilers***
Content Consideration:
a family under house arrest, a murder, graphic hospital scenes, a family fearing their execution

My Rating:  5 Stars


The Last Grand Duchess by Bryn Turnbull (cover) Image: red text set against the white sleeve of a woman's fancy gown

The Last Grand Duchess Information Here

Meet the Author, Bryn Turnbull

Author Bryn TurnbullBryn Turnbull is a writer of historical fiction. Equipped with a master’s of letters in creative writing from the University of St. Andrews, a master’s of professional communication from Ryerson University and a bachelor’s degree in English literature from McGill University, Bryn focuses on finding stories of women lost within the cracks of the historical record. She lives in Toronto. The Woman Before Wallis is her first novel.


Is The Last Grand Duchess on your TBR or have you read it?

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Unless explicitly stated that they are free, all books that I review have been purchased by me or borrowed from the library.

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    • I’m glad she left out the actual “slaughter” of the family. I was tense during the read thinking she might go there. I guess she figured most people know the history and there wasn’t a need to revisit it.

  1. It’s hard to resist a novel about the Romanov family even though I know how it ends. They are a fascinating family who lived through some horrific things. Glad to hear it wasn’t graphic.

    • There was quite a buzz a few decades ago when someone claimed to be the real Anastasia and had survived the killing. Since then they have found the graves and have dna evidence that accounts for all the bodies.

  2. In college, I studied political science, focusing on international foreign policy and Russia. I’ve added this one to my TBR; this should be right up my alley!

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