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Neither side in this struggle has a monopoly on cruelty-or on justification.

Petrograd, 1916. The Great War continues on and revolution is in the air. Grieving over the presumed deaths of both her fiancé and brother, Evelyn Markham has come to stay with her uncle and cousins, the Suvarovs. I think everyone knows what happens next, and as much as Evelyn would like to get back to England and safety, there’s no way out at the moment and she joins the Suvarovs when they head to the relative safety in the far north. Safety being a relative term, mind you, because things are seething up there as well with the White movement in full swing and the Western allies set on helping them.

The jacket blurb at Goodreads pretty much recaps it all nicely, and I’ve just wasted an hour trying to say it differently so I give up trying. I have better things to do today 😉

This was a good solid read, and focused on a bit of Russian history we don’t find often in historical novels. While I wouldn’t call Evelyn a self-centered miss, she did have a lot of growing up to do in this novel, especially when she and the younger Suvarovs retreat to Archangel (Arkhangelsk) to wait out the winter in hopes of catching a ship to England. I also liked watching the developing relationship between Evelyn and American reporter Bob Adamson, who she loathed from the start (he was somewhat supportive of the early revolutionaries). Loved it when the blinders finally fell off and her eyes were opened to the important things in life. My only real complaint is the somewhat abrupt ending – an epilogue would have rounded things out nicely.

And what did I end up taking away with me upon finishing? No matter what side of the *party* you are on, War. Is. Hell.

Somethings just never change, do they?

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