A Russian countess, Natalya Kutepov passionately fights the Red revolutionaries in an attempt to save her country, her heart and a precious Fabergé egg.
When their gentle world is turned upside down one cold night by a mob on a rampage, Natalya and her friend, Emilia, try to flee St. Petersburg for the safety of Paris. They are thwarted by a young Red named Leo, who tries to use them as a way to get to the powerful Constellation Egg. Given magic, mystical powers by Rasputin before he died, it keeps the royal Romanov family in power and protects those they love. Beloved of the tsarevitch, Natalya has a personal investment in the egg, and to protect it, she taps into internal reservoirs of strength and cunning she’s never been required to access before. Caught in the frozen landscape of Russia during the revolution, the three young adults embody the hope, terror, conviction and patriotism seething in the warring crowds that surround them. Eventually, Natalya comes to understand the deeply personal reverberations of the revolution: “[T]he rioters in St. Petersburg weren’t Leo any more than the nobles who fled the country early on were me.” Patrick treats her heavy subject with welcoming, graceful prose.
Romance, adventure, magic and history blend seamlessly into a story that is not just historically sensitive and gloriously thrilling—it’s essential moral reading. (Historical fantasy. 12 & up)