BOOK REVIEW: THE BOY WHO WOULD BE TSAR by Prince Andrew Romanoff

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Signed Copy of THE BOY WHO WOULD BE TSAR

For Christmas I received a signed copy of the book, THE BOY WHO WOULD BE TSAR, written and with Shrinky Dink art by Prince Andrew Romanoff–yes, the grandnephew of Russia’s last tsar, Nicholas II, who was murdered alongside his family in 1918.

For years I’ve often been gifted a book about Imperial Russia and/ or its history during the Christmas holiday and would devour it curled up by the wood burning stove my father kept stoked 24-7 in the New England home where I grew up. My head would be lost in early 1900 Russian images of troikas, Palekh, borscht, caviar, borzoi, birch trees, babushkas, Lenin, bolsheviks, revolutions, and the last Imperial family.

 

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The Book Cover of THE BOY WHO WOULD BE TSAR

This year the tradition continued, but in (much needed) rainy northern California snuggled under down blankets with two borzoi and a silken windhound at my feet as I read THE BOY WHO WOULD BE TSAR with delight.

 

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Prince Andrew at the desk where he creates his art.

 

THE BOY WHO WOULD BE TSAR gives readers a glimpse into Prince Andrew Romanoff’s life growing up on the grounds of Windsor Castle post the 1917 Revolution, as well as in California where he finally settled down not far from where I currently live. Romanoff’s book is a quick read in that his stories and moments from his life are told through Shrinky Dink art (plastic sheets that shrink by 2/3 when cooked in the oven – if you’re old enough, think back to when you were a kid) opposite short vignettes describing the memory.

 

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Prince Andrew getting a pat on the head from” Auntie Mary,” the Queen of England when he was six years old.

Prince Andrew Romanoff gives readers a look at royal life through the emotional lens of a child and the witty humility of a man who has experienced more than most. Whether he’s sharing chance moments with the Queen, showing us why he’s afraid of dogs, or being asked to avoid walks in the private gardens when the British royal family was visiting, or eating the chocolate Easter eggs taller than himself that were intended for the then Princess Margaret and Elizabeth, or even how his grandmother, a royal herself, would kick up her heels like a commoner at a request to have tea with the Queen, or when he was playing a game with the then Princess Elizabeth and told to let her win because it was her birthday, Prince Andrew captures each moment with honesty and humor. His drawings brought me back to my own childhood and inspired me so much I was one click away from making a Shrinky Dink Art Kit purchase myself when my own writing deadlines loomed large on my conscience.

 

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Dinner at Balmoral Castle where Prince Andrew was told to let the then Princess Elizabeth win a game they were playing because it was her birthday.

Also included in the book are numerous photographs from his childhood including his mother and father’s artwork and Andrew’s official Royal navy mug shot.

 

For more information about Prince Andrew Romanoff, click the links below.

Wikipedia

SF Chronicle Article – May 15, 2015

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To Buy the Book

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Author Photo

Thank you, Prince Andrew Romanoff for sharing your work with us and giving us a glimpse back into history. It was a delight to read your book. I will treasure it and keep it in my library among and in good company with my other signed books.

 

The next book on my reading list is PUTIN’S PLAYGROUND written by my brilliant friend, Anastasia Edel. Her book gives readers the pulse of modern-day Russia under Putin’s leadership, as well as a Cliff Notes version of Russian history.

Be on the lookout for an author interview with Anastasia Edel! Coming soon!

 

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