Tuesday 25 March 2014

Empress of the Night by Eva Stachniak


Catherine the Great, the Romanov monarch reflects on her astonishing ascension to the throne, her leadership over the world's greatest power, and the lives sacrificed to make her the most feared woman in the world--lives including her own...
Catherine the Great muses on her life, her relentless battle between love and power, the country she brought into the glorious new century, and the bodies left in her wake. By the end of her life, she had accomplished more than virtually any other woman in history. She built and grew the Romanov empire, amassed a vast fortune of art and land, and controlled an unruly and conniving court. Now, in a voice both indelible and intimate, she reflects on the decisions that gained her the world and brought her enemies to their knees. And before her last breath, shadowed by the bloody French Revolution, she sets up the end game for her last political maneuver, ensuring her successor and the greater glory of Russia.


I haven't read a historical novel in a while, so the Empress of the Night has brought me back into this genre. 

Empress of the Night tells the story of Catherine the Great but when she is older and reflecting on her life. To me it was not immediately obvious this was what was happening as Catherine's present life is told in sections of time- literally minutes when she has had a fall. So I was initially confused when the story switched to her as a little girl, but as I started to read further, it became clearer.

I will admit that my history knowledge of Russia is very limited, so the Empress of the Night really opened my eyes to the politics and goings on in 18th century Russia. 

I thought this novel was intelligent and cleverly done; it did require quite a lot of my concentration than most books usually do, but it was good to be challenged almost, whilst reading it.

There was quite a lot of emphasis on Catherine's lovers in this and although I am not complaining, I think I would have liked to have read more about Catherine's relationship with Empress Elizabeth, as their relationship really interested me.

Although this novel was good, I did find it quite hard to follow at times as I wasn't really used to this type of writing style. 

Overall a good historical novel that I think others will enjoy.


Empress of the Night is available from Amazon UK

About the author

Eva Stachniak was born and raised in Wrocław, Poland. She taught in the English Department of the University of Wrocław. In the summer of 1981, on the eve of the Solidarity crisis she received a scholarship to McGill University where she began working on her PhD dissertation, Positive Philosophy of Exile in Stefan Themerson’s Fiction (defended in 1988). In 1984-­‐86 she worked for Radio Canada International (the Polish Section) in Montreal, writing and producing radio programs about Canada. In 1988 she joined
the faculty of Sheridan College (Oakville, Ontario) where she taught English and humanities courses until 2007. It is in Canada that Eva became a writer. She is the Globe and Mail (Canada) and Der Spiegel (Germany) bestselling author of The Winter Palace, Garden of Venus (aka Dancing With Kings in the UK)
and Necessary Lies.

About Traverse Press

Traverse Press ebooks—an eclectic and varied list of internationally best-­‐selling novels, YA fiction, memoirs and more—are available on Amazon, Kobo and iTunes.
Traverse Press was founded in 2011 as a means to publish and sell digital copies of books by Helen Heller Agency clients that were previously unavailable to the public.
We are proud of our list of republished or newly published ebooks by our internationally bestselling authors, all affordably priced and easy to buy online.
Please stay tuned for new works as they become available!


  1. It's always frustrating when an author has a confusing writing style and a hard-to-follow story! But at least you persisted and everything else ended up being enjoyable! Thanks so much for sharing Laura, and, as always, brilliant review! :D

    ~ Zoe @ The Infinite To-Read Shelf

    1. It definitely can! Thanks so much Zoe, it's always nice to hear positive feedback on reviews as sometimes I read through them and think god that's not very good. So thank you very much :)