Sunday, June 10, 2012

Destinies by Karleene Morrow

Becoming the Empress and Ruler of All the Russians, Sophie Auguste Friedrike, was only fourteen when her mother made sure she became princess of Russia. The tsarina of Russia, Elizabeth Petrovna, was searching for a wife for her nephew who would inherit the crown.

Leaving her small town of Stettin, Poland, she met the tsarina and her heir in Russia. In 1762 Sophie became Katherine II.

Known as Katherine the Great, the Empress was literate, cultured, and loved the arts. Throughout Destinies, Karleene Marrow proves how she painstakingly researched every event during Katherine’s 34 year reign.

To not only enlighten her readers with facts and knowledge, but to entertain at the same time, Karleene Morrow writes her historical novel, Destinies, using Katherine the Great’s point of view plus a young boy, Christian, who emigrated from Germany to Russia with his family and friends searching for a better life. The way Morrow skillfully does this is what makes this book extraordinary.

Katherine II is known for her sex scandals and her desire for power.  Morrow includes her political decisions and many of her lovers. During the day Katherine II was a powerhouse of a political leader, and at night she could not go without a man.

We see Christian grow up from a boy into manhood in Destinies. We meet and love his family and friends. He has strong family values and morals that he struggles with on his journey. His relationship with the Gypsy’s is my favorite. His life, along with his family and friends, is not an easy one. Emigrating from Germany and putting down roots in Russia was an unbelievable feat.

Going back and forth between Katherine the Great and Christian’s life was easily done. There is never a time where I got lost or confused. This is a longer book than most, but it never felt like it. I could not put it down. The story is terrific!

I recommend this book for readers of all ages. In my opinion, reading a historical novel that is well researched and written, is the best way to learn.

I’m hoping Destinies will have a sequel. I would love to read another historical novel by Karleene Morrow.

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