genre: young adult historical fiction
With the Empress's health failing and her relationship with Peter on the verge of catastrophe, Catherine soon realizes that her troubles are not only within her own court. There are those outside that want Peter off the throne of Russia, which puts both Catherine and her young son in danger. Soon Catherine is going to have to decide if she is strong enough to wield her own power among so many she cannot trust. Amid wars and plauge from without and conniving and hatred from within, there is really only one way she can win - the questions is if she is willing to sacrifice what it will take to get there.
Catherine's love life has always been an important part of the books, which I understand, and this one is no different. But this one was my least favorite, especially after she threw a very unrealistic threesome into the mix. It felt very unbelievable and like the author was just trying to be scandalous. The plot is fast-paced, again, and I believed in her political frustration, ambition and lack of options, Catherine's choices were always made with such high stakes and the lack of morality among all the characters was sometimes frustrating - Elizabeth, especially, would stop at actually nothing. It entertained me and wrapped things up well enough but I didn't love it. What it did make me do is go and learn more about the real story and I do appreciate that the author did base a lot of big happenings on fact, more or less.