Blog Tour & Giveaway: Enchantments by Kathryn Harrison

   ” From Kathryn Harrison, one of America’s most admired literary voices, comes a gorgeously written, enthralling novel set in the final days of Russia’s Romanov Empire.

St. Petersburg, 1917. After Rasputin’s body is pulled from the icy waters of the Neva River, his eighteen-year-old daughter, Masha, is sent to live at the imperial palace with Tsar Nikolay and his family—including the headstrong Prince Alyosha. Desperately hoping that Masha has inherited Rasputin’s miraculous healing powers, Tsarina Alexandra asks her to tend to Aloysha, who suffers from hemophilia, a blood disease that keeps the boy confined to his sickbed, lest a simple scrape or bump prove fatal.

Two months after Masha arrives at the palace, the tsar is forced to abdicate, and Bolsheviks place the royal family under house arrest. As Russia descends into civil war, Masha and Alyosha grieve the loss of their former lives, finding solace in each other’s company. To escape the confinement of the palace, they tell stories—some embellished and some entirely imagined—about Nikolay and Alexandra’s courtship, Rasputin’s many exploits, and the wild and wonderful country on the brink of an irrevocable transformation. In the worlds of their imagination, the weak become strong, legend becomes fact, and a future that will never come to pass feels close at hand.

Mesmerizing, haunting, and told in Kathryn Harrison’s signature crystalline prose, Enchantments is a love story about two people who come together as everything around them is falling apart.”

In some cases the story really begins at the end. Spanning the time immediately after Rasputin’s brutal murder and beyond the last days of the Romanov family, Enchantments gives a unique look into a time period of Russian history very well documented and yet still coveted in the fictional world of literature. This novel however is unlike the others I have read in that it gives a fresh look as it delves into Rasputin’s life as a family man, very rarely do you ever see it even mentioned that he had a wife and children much less see his offspring as the narrator of such a monumental time in history.

Masha as she was called was the oldest of Rasputin’s daughters and very much the favorite daughter who both respected and cherished her father. The Tsarina of Russia even felt that the young girl had inherited her father’s healing gifts although Masha never felt so herself and never pursued any of Rasputin’s practices. Nevertheless this belief allowed Masha and her sister access to the Romanovs that very few ever held.  Within her stories Masha gives a insider’s account of both Rasptuin the Monk’s life and that of the last royal family of Russia. She is truly a gifted storyteller and the accounts she gives create characters out of historical figures we have all read about.

While much of the novel is very well imagined and given in a abundance of fictional stories within it still lies the tragedy of the last Tsar of Russia and his family. Many of the stories told by Masha are clearly of a fantastical nature but they provide not only a enjoyable reading experience but also a deeper insight into a family lost. A relationship between Masha and Alyosha, gives  the son of Nicholay and Alexandra a life and history beyond his disease and death. Alexei truly becomes a person within this novel and that is something I have rarely seen in accounts of the Romanovs.

In the end while most of the the stories are purely fiction behind them lie real people whose story may never be able to be factually told. This novel at least gives them a past and life of some type in which to be real people and not simply notes in a history book. I thoroughly enjoyed the book from both a fictional and historical stand point. It truly flies by once you become entranced by Harrison’s unique storytelling style. I would recommend this book to lovers of historical fiction and those interested in the Romanovs specifically.

 Book Giveaway

Stiletto Storytime is excited to be able to offer a giveaway as part of this TLC Book Blog Tour Stop for Enchantments and a copy of the book will soon belong to one very lucky reader. Giveaway ends midnight EST March 31, 2012. US/Canada addresses only please for this giveaway.

To enter to win a copy simply share one of your favorite historical fiction titles below. I love getting new suggestions for my future reading and it seems there is always a work that I have passed by or not heard of . So share one…or share a few while entering to win a great addition to your own library.

Want extra entries? You can get an extra entry by doing any of the following:

Be/Become a Follower of Stiletto Storytime

Be/Become a Follower Stiletto Storytime on Twitter

Tweet or Blog about this Giveaway (Please leave link in comments)

36 Comments

Filed under Adult Books, Blog Tour, historical fiction, New Books

36 responses to “Blog Tour & Giveaway: Enchantments by Kathryn Harrison

  1. I loved Rachel Wade’s books.

  2. email subscribed: edysicecreamlover18@gmailDOTcom

  3. carlrscott

    For a new historical fiction work try: The Time in Between by Maria Duenas
    I’ve been following Stiletto Storytime by email for ages: carlscott(at)prodigy(dot)net(dot)mx
    I do follow on Twitter as well: @carlrscott
    I tweeted about the giveaway: https://twitter.com/#!/carlrscott/status/183755659244875776
    That’s all 4 possible entries – Thanks!

  4. I really loved the A Great and Terrible Beauty series by Libba Bray.

    Lilian
    http://noveltoybox.wordpress.com
    lilianxcheng AT gmail.com

  5. I follow Stilletto Storytime by email (lilianxchengATgmailDOTcom)

  6. I follow on twitter as @lilboxism

  7. debbie

    I liked Claude and Camille by stephanie cowell.
    twoofakind12@yahoo.com

  8. I don’t read a lot of historical fiction but I did love The 19th Wife by David Ebershoff.

    I subscribe to your blog in Google Reader.

    I follow you on Twitter – I’m bermudaonion

  9. It is so hard to pick just a few favorites as Historical Fiction is my all time favorite genre! My favorite authors are Philippa Gregory, Alison Weir and Karen Harper. Some individual books that I really enjoyed are To Die For by Sandra Byrd, The Soldier’s Wife by Margaret Leroy, The Crimson Petal and the White by Michel Faber and A Race to Splendor by Ciji Ware. Thanks for the giveaway, this book sounds wonderful!

  10. nan

    I love mm kaye’s epic novels, The far Pavilions and Shadow of the Moon (as well as all her other works).

  11. Ileana A.

    Thank you so much for this giveaway!
    I recommend The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simons
    emal suscriber.
    Twitter follower: @Gisselle_Alv
    Tweeted: https://twitter.com/#!/Gisselle_Alv/status/184127352882733057

  12. I am a twitter follower! @Josslight089

  13. Follow on Twitter as @Josslight089

  14. tweet:

  15. Margaret

    The Skin of Water by G.S. Johnson was awsome! Set during WWII.

    I’m a follower

    twitter follower also

    tweeted Margaret ‏ @LiteraryChanteu
    http://t.co/BlWCM6bZ

    Margaret
    singitm(at)hotmail(dot)com

  16. Rae Lovvorn

    I’ve been reading Philippa Gregory’s Cousins War set (White Queen, Red Queen and Lady of the Rivers). No happy endings since they all end up deposed or dead, but hey, that’s what really happened. It really brings to life the Wars of the Roses, though, and pre-Tudor British history.

  17. I loved the book, Queen Hereafter: A Novel of Margaret of Scotland by Susan Fraser King which I read recently. It was a great love story between the Queen and her King Malcolm. I learned a lot about the time period around the 11th century in Scotland as well. A very interesting book. It made me want to read other books by this author.

  18. nfmgirl

    I enjoyed Madame Tussaud by Michelle Moran.

    nfmgirl AT gmail dOT com

  19. nfmgirl

    I follow: nfmgirl

    nfmgirl AT gmail DOT com

  20. nfmgirl

    I follow via Twitter: @nfmgirl

    nfmgirl AT gmail DOT com

  21. Na S.

    I have read a few historical fiction set in Russia and really enjoy it. The premise for this book is interesting. Some stories I’ve read and enjoy:
    Into the Wilderness by Sara Donati and A Race to Splendor by Ciji Ware.

  22. Na S.

    I am an email subscriber: simplyreadingAThotmailDOTcom

  23. Na S.

    I am a Twitter follower: Fiery Na

  24. Carol M

    Gone With the Wind and Doctor Zhivago are my favorites. I also enjoyed The Heretic Queen by Michelle Moran.

  25. Carol M

    I follow by email.
    mittens0831 at aol dot com

  26. Carol M

    I follow you on Twitter – CarolAnnM

  27. Pingback: Kathryn Harrison, author of Enchantments, on tour March 2012 | TLC Book Tours

  28. I was fascinated with the Romanovs when I was a child – I think I’d really enjoy getting to know more about them as an adult. Thanks for being on the tour!

  29. stilettostorytime

    Thanks to everyone who entered to win “Enchantments”…our winner is Rae Lovvorn! Congrats Rae! Happy Reading to everyone else and keep trying. More giveaways to come!

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