The Romanov Rescue

Baen. Nov. 2021. 560p. ISBN 9781982125707. $25. SF
In 1918, the Russians overthrow their tsar in the revolution, but the Germans plot their own counterrevolution, which hinges upon the rescue of the royal family, the Romanovs. The plan starts with Daniil Kostyshakov, who hides in a hay bale as he attempts to escape prison. When that fails, he’s recruited by Major General Hoffmann to kick off the daring rescue, which involves elaborate zeppelin aviation and harrowing heroics. The most compelling character is Tatiana Romanov, the deposed princess, who is stripped of both her ignorance and innocence as the harsh realities of war and treachery bear down. She combats these hardships with admirable strength, kindness, and love for her family.
VERDICT The story is often long-winded, with bursts of explosive action and political intrigue peppered in, and many characters lack development. However, this alternate history employs vibrant steampunk vibes and aptly captures the uncertainties of the tumultuous era, as well as the courageous desperation of the world-weary men and women involved. Fans of detailed and technical military fiction will enjoy this, as well as those who appreciate real historical figures as characters.
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