book cover of The Winter Palace
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The Winter Palace

(2012)
(The first book in the Catherine series)
A novel by

 
 
When Vavara, a young orphaned Polish girl, is brought to serve at Empress Elizabeth's glittering, dangerous court in St Petersburg, she is schooled by the Chancellor himself in skills from lock-picking to love-making, learning above all else to stay silent - and listen. Soon, she is Elizabeth's 'tongue' - her secret eyes and ears.

Then Sophie, a vulnerable young princess, arrives from Prussia as a prospective bride for Elizabeth's heir. Set to spy on her by the Empress, Vavara soon becomes her friend and confidante, and helps her navigate the illicit seductions and the treacherous shifting allegiances of the court.But Sophie's destiny is to become the notorious Catherine the Great. Are her ambitions more lofty and far-reaching than anyone suspected, and will she stop at nothing to achieve absolute power?

Bursting with dazzling period detail on life at court - the fashions, the food and the décor - this tale of passion, betrayal and revenge shows how the legend of Catherine the Great was born, and gives an irresistible peek through the keyhole at one fo history's most turbulent and seductive dramas.

Genre: Historical

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