Title: The Russian Concubine (Russian Concubine #1)
Author: Kate Furnivall
Publisher: Berkley Trade 2007
Genre: Historical Fiction
Rating: 5 / 5 stars
Reading Challenges: Historical Fiction; 2011 - Will Power? What Will Power?
How I Got It: I own it!
A sweeping novel set in war-torn 1928 China, with a star-crossed love story at its center.
In a city full of thieves and Communists, danger and death, spirited young Lydia Ivanova has lived a hard life. Always looking over her shoulder, the sixteen-year-old must steal to feed herself and her mother, Valentina, who numbered among the Russian elite until Bolsheviks murdered most of them, including her husband. As exiles, Lydia and Valentina have learned to survive in a foreign land.
Often, Lydia steals away to meet with the handsome young freedom fighter Chang An Lo. But they face danger: Chiang Kai Shek's troops are headed toward Junchow to kill Reds like Chang, who has in his possession the jewels of a tsarina, meant as a gift for the despot's wife. The young pair's all-consuming love can only bring shame and peril upon them, from both sides. Those in power will do anything to quell it. But Lydia and Chang are powerless to end it.
To say that this is a love story is selling the book short. It is so much more than a love story. The story takes place in a short amount of time but includes so many actions and events it seems so long. Rereading that sentence, it seems like I felt the novel was long and drawn out, but it was just the opposite. The action flew through the storyline. I love the fierce nature of Lydia, the determination of Chang, and the mystery and intrigue surrounding the other characters. The characters made the story. I loved all the twists and turns. A beautiful epic novel. And it's the first novel in a trilogy. I am dying to read the second and third. I want to find out what happens to Lydia, Alexei, Liev, and Chang. I can't wait!
- #1 The Russian Concubine
- #2 The Girl from Junchow
- #3 The Jewel of St. Petersburg