genre: young adult historical fiction
When Sophie arrives in Russia, she's innocent enough to believe that her noble German upbringing prepared her for the scandal and intrigue that is the St. Petersburg court of Empress Elizabeth and her ruthless nephew Peter. As she slowly tries to maneuver herself into a crown, Sophie soon learns that true happiness will require a level of trust that may be difficult to obtain. She will be in need of all her energy and wits to make a place for herself and hopefully find love in the process.
This is some juicy YA historical fiction - really I'd call it historical romance. It's not explicit but there are romantic scenes, to be sure. It read really quickly for me and I enjoyed spending time in a Russia that didn't belong to the elusive Anastasia Romanov. This earlier Russia is just as dangerous of a place, though, and the action moves quickly (sometimes a little too quickly for my taste, I occasionally needed a little more detail to flesh relationships out to make them super believable). The ending was an interesting jumping off point for book two and while there isn't a lot of "moral" decision-making amongst the characters, I was definitely entertained.