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Romanov Readalong - Day #2

(Image Courtesy -Uma @books.bags.burgers )

 We're onto day 2 of the readalong and wow so much happened in these 6 chapters! Since I seem to be incapable of forming proper sentences, let's make a list! (I know what you're thinking 'But Uma lists are made of sentences too' but guys, lists are LISTS. They just make it all so much easier)

! SPOILER ALERT ! The following post contains spoilers for the chapters 6 to 11. So unless you’ve read them, DON’T PROCEED ! SPOILER ALERT !

-S P O I L E R S-

 ↠ So Nastya finally talked to her dad about the doll and COLOUR ME INTRIGUED. I can't wait to know more about the doll and how it's going to help them And also the interaction between father and daughter is just SO sweet and melted my heart!

  And aww Ivan and Maria! Ivan seems so sweet and Zash so distant. I'm not sure how I feel about both the boys yet but I don't think it's a good idea for either of the girls to be mingling with the Bolshevik soldiers, even if they seem sweet. It's really making me nervous.

  ↠ I hate that changes that follow Alexander Beloborodov's inspection - reducing the outdoors time, cutting down on the quality of food and everything. I also hated how they can no longer even read newspapers! AND OMG THE WHOLE TREATING THEM AS HOSTAGES THING AND THE HEADLINES IN THE NEWSPAPER! I feel so SO sad for the family! 

  OKAY SO NASTYA AND ZASH! I actually liked seeing it grow. How at first Zash is mad at the family but also starting to like them and OMG HE ACTUALLY HELPED NASTYA GET SPELL INK FOR ALEXEI!!! AHHH That part made me squeal! And I loved how Alexei kept teasing her! And they got the swings made which was just absolutely sweet and I can't get over how sweet but at the same time the way Zash's attitude changes was too fast for me?


↠ The conversation between Nastya and her mother. Ooooo so mcuh awkwardness, I felt second hand embarrassment at times. But I found it really interesting how the author explains why Rasputin visited so much and why the then queen spent time alone with him.

 ↠ The closing of the windows, the conditions getting worse and the subsequent shaving of their heads was so sad! I felt so sorry for the whole family. Also Nastya telling off Ivan was a pretty great scene to be honest. What she said was absolutely right but I also see Ivan's side and ahhh I like that dude even though he is kinda stupid messing about with things that could get them killed. 

 ↠ OMFG THE GUNSHOT RIGHT AFTER NASTYA THREW OUT THE MESSAGE! That was so terrible! And the scene where Avdeev made the tsar beg to let them open the window. It made me feel just as angry and hurt as Nastya. But I'm so glad her father found the note before others.

 ↠ BUT BUT OH RESCUE!! It made my heart soar. So hopeful for the family but gaah I bet something's gonna go wrong. *scared* 


-L E T    U S   D I S C U S S -

What do you think of Zash? How do you feel about the probable rescue? What scenes stood out for you?


  • Gayatri Saikia

    The character of Zash feels abit conflicted upto this point. One minute he is flirting with Nastya and the next second he flips. But, I am loving their scenes together. Hoping for the best. Also, that gunshot and Nastya feeling her cheeks hot, ahhh i skipped a heartbeat literally.

  • Shatarupa Dhar

    Zash – he’s someone on whom I am not able to form an opinion, it is still early pages, I think. Alexei and Nastya, and Maria and Nastya are two sibling pairings I love more than ever. I wondered sometimes how people used to pass time then, and playacting is one way to go about it, especially if it is Nastya’s brand of farce. She makes everyone (including me) laugh so much. The playacting scene, however brief, stood out for me. Living in exile is so tough, and that play was a burst of sunshine in that grimness. This line though …

    “The more starved we were of kindness, the more we clung to any crumb of it.”

    The rescue is what I am looking forward to, though I am really scared as to what will happen.

  • Ranja Chakraborty


    First off I have to 100% agree with you on that. I did suspect that their relationship would not be developed as intricately as it could have and his attitude change did seem a little sudden to me too. But then they’re humans. He told her the reason he was with the Bolsheviks and it’s similar to hers. So maybe even though on principle he is supposed to hate them – he still can’t help feeling sorry for the family. Alexei is after all just a child- (omg he wouldn’t have liked me to say that would he?) . He maybe a tsar and upright and strong – but he is a child. I suppose he realised that even though the family is hated, the children are just children.
    The part about shaving their heads was so painful! I was glad that Ivan and Zash were so sweet to both the girls. It’s still a taboo after all- a woman having a shaven head. But it’s true as well- hair is by no means a measure of beauty.
    The kind of arrangement they have now gives the book a much more sinister turn. Imagine being cooped up inside all day. Fear and uncertainty imminent. With mother’s and Alexei’s health deteriorating everyday. It’s also really sad how no one except Nastya knows her mother’s story. That woman deserves praise and yet what she got was shame.
    It’s a trickle of hope- the White Army. Let’s hope it turns into a beacon.

  • Chanel Rick

    After the retrieval of the doll and the winking incident, I thought our little Shvibik was done with her mischief. The failure of her attempt to reach out to the nuns and the gunshot was just a very too close call. Is it just me or is the author setting us up for a real big scare? We all know how it went down in real history but, with the involvement of magic and Nadine Brandes, you just never know! Also, before I get into Zash, how freaking is Alexei with the way he teases his sister? I absolutely stan that sibling-ship, I can’t wait to see more of it. Every friendly or dare I say, slightly flirty interactment between Nastya and Zash makes me keep the book aside and gush about it, the excitement and second hand embarrassment is way too real! Zash’s character development is definitely showing us his kinder and oddly more boyish side. I mean, this time it’s a wink and it’s FOR Nastya. From Zash. Who would’ve thought we would come here? I’m still a little uncertain about whether he can be trusted. He may trust Nastya, but her parents? Either something big has got to happen to change his mind or his kindness will reach beyond Nastya and Alexei and over to the rest of their family. Oh God, the White Officer is not something I entirely trust. Strange sirens go off in my head regarding this possible rescue attempt. Somehow I feel like this just might be another opportunity to separate family members… or a character is going to die. Yeah, I know it doesn’t sound optimistic, but the sudden luck with the opening of a window? That’s got to be a set up by a higher official after Nastya’s attempt, right? And lastly, the scene that stood out to me the most. From the sibling-ship to the slight flirt from Zash while returning the head cloth to her back, there are just so many to choose from. Though, one scene that felt like something to keep in mind is the way Maria wants to let Ivan in on the rescue. I feel like that is a valuable piece of information the author has given us, almost like a possibility of it making a difference in the upcoming rest of this story. Hopefully I wasn’t the only one who was facepalming over Maria’s desire to tell Ivan about this. I know this entire comment sounds a bit like a conspiracy theory, but I love every bit of reading this book. The thrill and excitement is what makes it worth it, even with the included potential roman- I mean, friendship, between Nastya and Zash. It’s just because of the exile, no room for affection. Maybe some affection.

  • Belinda Smith

    I too feel the change in behaviour of Zash to be very sudden. He clearly stated his distaste for the Romanov family and suddenly he is helping her and being a little friendlier than before. It feels fishy to me. BUT at the same time, I want to see the relationship between Nastya and Zash grow. I can’t wait to learn more. It was sweet that Zash helped Nastya with the spell ink! I wanna know who Zash is protecting. He said no parents… so that makes me wonder!

    Conversation between the family members is so cute. They give hope in a place and time where they are treated like prisoners. Nastya and Papa, Nastya and Maria, Nastya and Alexei…. they have a great relationship among themselves and it is so adorable.

    Alexei is a cinnamon roll!! He and Nastya are so adorable together… their conversations are so sibling-like. He is providing a place for Nastya to be herself in such a difficult situation.

    The DOLL is becoming mysterious by the minute! I NEED MOREEE!!!!

    I like how Ivan and Zash built the girls a swing and how the other guards join in on the fun too… it’s nice that they are not portrayed as villains as they are simply doing their jobs and not the bad guys.

    Nastya and her mom – phew – I cannot even imagine the awkwardness during the whole conversation. It was so sad that Nastya had to ask her mom such difficult questions. It must have been so hard for her mom to hear these sentences from her daughter. It hurt to read.

    THE BULLET! OH. MY. GOD! That too just when she tried to get help from outside. It was horrible. I held my breath till the story got to the point where it stated that no one was hurt gravely.

    Nastya’s Papa is amazing. The way he is adapting to all the changes and making the best out of it. He is just AWESOME!

    Nastya telling Ivan to stay away was a hard-to-watch-even-harder-to-be-in kinda scene. She HAD to do it for her sister. Such a Romeo-Juliet romance…
    I like Ivan. He seems like a good guy. And he seems to be helping Maria settle in. I wanna know how their relationship moves from here.

    When Nastya thought of the nun who looked at her when she tried to send out a message, I hoped for a rescue mission. And THE LETTER. I have to know how the White Army is trying to save the Romanovs… need the story from their side..

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