"You will savour every page." #Kindle #BookReview

by Karleene Morrow

Genre: Historical Fiction

Book Synopsis

Catherine seizes the crown of Russia and a thousand miles away a Rhineland boy’s life is changed forever.

When his parents and friends accept Catherine’s invitation to come live in her country, Christian is catapulted out of his boyhood and into a world of enigmas: a corrupt ship captain, a meeting with the new empress, a Russian blacksmith, a band of Gypsies and a forbidden girl that he can’t sweep out of his heart.

With intrigue at court surrounding her, she suddenly learns of a plot to overthrow her while she also has to contend with a senate that fights every attempt she makes to modernize her barbaric country. Then to her horror she must try to fend off a rebellion that is driving toward Moscow and to the Volga colonies where Christian and his family have settled.

Through ten years of her lover’s abuses and infidelity, Catherine is a woman—tender, fragile, giving. But as she turns on the rebels and her own serfs, the great Catherine unleashes a different side of herself: unforgiving, chillingly cruel, relentless in her fierce power.

Destinies is a compelling, multi-layered story of power, love, deceit and betrayal and the extraordinary strength and determination of the human spirit in common people thrown into uncommon circumstances.

Bec's Rating

Bec's Review

Historical novels are a tricky subject to get right. Unlike most novels they require a lot of research in order to ensure that events and characters stay as close to their real life counterparts as possible, and that those who have researched or know of the characters won’t get upset by them acting in strange ways. As such it’s a genre not every author can pull off but one that Morrow does with such ease. I found myself eagerly turning the pages of this book and finishing it in a short time despite its large size. Do not let the size put you off either, this is a real page turner.

Dealing with the story of Katherine the Great and the European settlers she invited to immigrate to Russia, this story is told from two perspectives, that of Katherine but mostly that of a fictional immigrant teenager, Christian, who grows up over the years that this book is set in. Each of the characters has trials they must face, successes and failures, and life changing decisions. Each of the characters is a refreshing read, with individual voices that combine the story telling in an enchanting read.

There were some parts of this story that amused me, and some parts that had me worried for the characters but no matter what was happening I couldn’t put it down. At times it did get frustrating when it would switch to the other character, especially when something good was happening with the first one, but this only added to the suspense. I believe Destinies can stand it’s ground against other historical novels that have graced book store shelves, and would highly recommend it. Don’t let the fact that it’s a rather long book put you off, as you will savour every page.

Disclaimer: May not be appropriate for children due to a Mature Theme.