From Goodreads: Catherine the Great muses on her life, her relentless battle between love and power, the country she brought into the glorious new century, and the bodies left in her wake. By the end of her life, she had accomplished more than virtually any other woman in history. She built and grew the Romanov empire, amassed a vast fortune of art and land, and controlled an unruly and conniving court. Now, in a voice both indelible and intimate, she reflects on the decisions that gained her the world and brought her enemies to their knees. And before her last breath, shadowed by the bloody French Revolution, she sets up the end game for her last political maneuver, ensuring her successor and the greater glory of Russia.
My Thoughts: I was really excited to read this because I think Catherine the Great is a very cool historical figure. I remember enjoying Stachniak's first book about Catherine, The Winter Palace, and was looking forward to the second. Unfortunately, I was really disappointed. The story is basically Catherine remembering her life after she has had a stroke which could be interesting but it wasn't. It was told in the third person and there really was minimal dialogue. It made the story hard to read and it was pretty boring. It also seemed to drag on. There also was very little focus on her accomplishments as empress. The story seemed to focus more on her relationships than it did on her reign. Catherine did some amazing things during her tenure as empress and I hate when books sensationalize her liaisons and forget about everything else. Overall, I was really unimpressed with this book as it had the potential to be really good. 2 stars.
I received this book from NetGalley.