book cover of Tsarina
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(The first book in the Tsarina series)
A novel by


'It makes Game of Thrones look like a nursery rhyme' - Daisy Goodwin

Lover, mother, murderer, Tsarina

1699: Illegitimate, destitute and strikingly beautiful, Marta is sold into labour at the age of fifteen - where in desperation she commits a crime that will force her to go on the run. Cheating death at every turn, she is swept into the current of the Great Northern War. Working as a washer woman at a battle camp, she catches the eye of none other than Peter the Great. Passionate and iron-willed, Peter has a vision for transforming the traditionalist Tsardom of Russia into a modern, Western empire.

With nothing but wits, courage and formidable ambition, Marta will rise from nothing to become Catherine I of Russia. But it comes at a steep price and is tied to the destiny of Russia itself.

Genre: Historical

Praise for this book

"Astonishing...the ultimate Cinderella story." - Daisy Goodwin

"Intrigue, rivalry, and sumptuous decadence leap to vivid life in this fascinating story of Peter the Great’s second wife...conjuring the gorgeous marble of the Winter Palace and deprivation of Russia in the 18th century, the perilous ascent to power of the first woman to rule as empress is a gripping and unforgettable journey." - C W Gortner

"Luscious…Alpsten has clearly done some brilliant research. It reads like Game of Thrones without the dragons." - Natasha Pulley

"Tsarina should come with a health warning - once you start reading, it’s impossible to stop." - Hannah Rothschild

"[Alpsten] recounts this remarkable woman’s colourful life and times." - Nikolai Tolstoy

"As detailed as the jewels and enamel inlay on the creations of Faberge...[a] crisp, elegant fictional account of history, woven with emotion and brio." - Adriana Trigiani

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