- Adventures In Reading
- Beauty In Ruins
- Best Fantasy Books HQ
- Bitten By Books
- Bookworm Blues
- Charlotte's Library
- Civilian Reader
- Critical Mass
- Curated Fantasy Books
- Dark Wolf's Fantasy Reviews
- Edi's Book Lighthouse
- Everything is Nice
- Falcata Times
- Fantasy & SciFi Lovin' News & Reviews
- Fantasy Cafe
- Fantasy Literature
- Far Beyond Reality
- Genre Reader
- Jeff VanderMeer
- King of the Nerds
- Layers of Thought
- Neth Space
- Only The Best Science Fiction & Fantasy
- Pat's Fantasy Hotlist
- Rob's Blog O' Stuff
- Smorgasbord Fantasia
- Speculative Book Review
- Stainless Steel Droppings
- Tez Says
- The Antick Musings of G.B.H. Hornswoggler, Gent.
- The Bibliosanctum
- The Book Smugglers
- The Nocturnal Library
- The OF Blog
- The Speculative Scotsman
- The Vinciolo Journal
- The Wertzone
- Tip the Wink
- Val's Random Comments
- Voyager Books
- Walker of Worlds
- ► 2016 (77)
- ► 2015 (136)
- ► 2014 (155)
- "Dualed: Dualed Book 1" by Elise Chapman (Reviewed...
- 2013 HUGO Award Nominee "Captain Vorpatril's Allia...
- GUEST POST: Scott Lynch — The Man, His Books and W...
- Tom Swan Returns, while Satyrus and Melitta Start ...
- The Drifting Isle Chronicles Multi-Author Intervie...
- The Lives Of Tao by Wesley Chu (Reviewed by Mihir ...
- RE-REVIEW: Ex-Patriots by Peter Clines (by Mihir W...
- “Three Parts Dead” by Max Gladstone (Reviewed by C...
- Sleight Of Hand by Phillip Margolin (Reviewed by M...
- "The Boy" by Lara Santoro (Reviewed by Liviu Suciu...
- GUEST POST: Villains by Wesley Chu
- The Machine God by Meilin Miranda (Reviewed by Mih...
- GUEST POST: The Kaiser Affair - A fantasy thriller...
- "Promise of Blood" by Brian McClellan (Reviewed by...
- GUEST POST: On Machines and Talking Birds by Charl...
- "The Best of All Possible Worlds" by Karen Lord (R...
- Interview with Wesley Chu (Interviewed by Mihir Wa...
- GUEST POST: When Collaborating, Say Yes by Meilin ...
- GUEST POST: The Drifting Isle Chronicles - A new w...
- Cave & Julia, Kindle Single from M. John Harrison ...
- "The House of Special Purpose" by John Boyne (Revi...
- On The Highly Expected Series Debuts of 2013, Djan...
- Introducing Aethernet Magazine - Serial Fiction wi...
- Very Sad News about Iain M. Banks, the Greatest SF...
- GIVEAWAY: The Ill-Made Knight by Christian Cameron...
- “Dark Currents” by Jacqueline Carey (Reviewed by C...
- RE-REVIEW: Ex-Heroes by Peter Clines (by Mihir Wan...
- ▼ April (27)
- ► 2012 (287)
- ► 2011 (317)
- ► 2010 (346)
- ► 2009 (466)
- ► 2008 (376)
Sunday, April 7, 2013
"Part love story, part historical epic, part tragedy, The House of Special Purpose illuminates an empire at the end of its reign. Eighty-year-old Georgy Jachmenev is haunted by his past—a past of death, suffering, and scandal that will stay with him until the end of his days. Living in England with his beloved wife, Zoya, Georgy prepares to make one final journey back to the Russia he once knew and loved, the Russia that both destroyed and defined him. As Georgy remembers days gone by, we are transported to St. Petersburg, to the Winter Palace of the czar, in the early twentieth century—a time of change, threat, and bloody revolution. As Georgy overturns the most painful stone of all, we uncover the story of the house of special purpose."
The House of Special Purpose is an unexpectedly compelling read that mixes well trodden ground - last days of the Tsarist Regime, Rasputin, the murder of Nicholas II the last Tsar and his family - with a well thought narrative structure that presents snippets from the future life of two survivors of the times.
The novel is narrated by Georgy Jachmenev, son of a muzhik from an imperial estate who distinguishes himself by saving the life of an Imperial Duke and gets appointed as bodyguard to the Tsar and his family, in particular to the young, sick and fragile Tsarevich Aleksei.
In the present of the storyline in 1981, 80+ year old Georgy is living in London after a lifetime of work for the British Museum and he is attending his lifelong partner and wife of 60+ years, Zoya who is terminally ill of cancer, while being consoled by his grandson who is his single surviving relative.
The narration goes back in time in flashes and snippets of the important moments in the life of the couple as well as forward in time from Georgy's birth to his becoming a member of the Tsar's Guard and finally to his illicit love affair with the youngest of the Tsar's daughters, Grand Duchess Anastasia to whom he have sworn eternal fidelity; and of course the question occurs, who is Zoya?
While we get an early answer that they had met on a three day nightmarish train ride from Siberia in 1918 escaping from the Bolsheviks, things are slowly revealed...
Excellent writing and a book that I opened it more to take a look at than seriously expecting to actually read it but that I could not really put it down after I started it; emotional, haunting and with two great characters who survive the wreck of an era and make themselves a life in exile while still being followed by the brutal past.
12:00 AM | Posted by Liviu | | Edit Post