About the Book
Book: The Ice Swan
Author: J’Nell Ciesielski
Genre: Historical Romance
Release date: July 6, 2021
Amid the violent last days of the glittering Russian court, a Russian princess on the run finds her heart where she least expects it.
1917, Petrograd. Fleeing the murderous flames of the Russian Revolution, princess Svetlana Dalsky hopes to find safety in Paris with her mother and sister. But the city is buckling under the weight of the Great War, and the Bolsheviks will not rest until they have erased every Russian aristocrat from memory.
Born the second son of a duke, the only title Wynn MacCallan cares for is that of surgeon. Putting his talents with a scalpel to good use in the hospitals in Paris, Wynn pushes the boundaries of medical science to give his patients the best care possible. While treating Svetlana for a minor injury, he is pulled into a world of decaying imperial glitter and underground Russian clubs where drink, culture, and questionable dealings collide on bubbles of vodka.
Out of money and options, Svetlana is forced into a marriage of convenience with Wynn, who will protect her and pay off her debts. It’s the right thing for a good man to do, but Wynn can’t help hoping the marriage will turn into one of true affection. As the Bolsheviks chase them to different corners of the earth, Wynn and Svetlana begin to see they will never be able to outrun the love they have for one another.
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In My Opinion
In The Ice Swan, J’Nell Ciesielski delves into the plight of many Russians during The Great War. From Russia to Paris to Scotland, this slow burn historical romance with an undercurrent of mystery and danger captivated me.
Ciesielski’s historical novels are rich in setting, characterization (some of who may seem fairly normal, dare I say a little boring?, until you get a peek under their surface), and historical detail.
My one complaint with this novel was that is leaned too much toward episodic. Problems arise and are resolved without a strong enough (for me, anyway) overarching conflict that continues throughout the story. Oh, there’s one there but it’s dropped and picked back up when convenient.
That said, The Ice Swan is worth the read for its strengths, which far out weight my single criticism.
I receive complimentary books from publishers, publicists, and/or authors, including NetGalley. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.
About the Author
With a passion for heart-stopping adventure and sweeping love stories, J’nell Ciesielski weaves fresh takes into romances of times gone by. When not creating dashing heroes and daring heroines, she can be found dreaming of Scotland, indulging in chocolate of any kind, or watching old black and white movies. Winner of the Romance Through the Ages Award and the Maggie Award, she is a Florida native who now lives in Virginia with her husband, daughter, and lazy beagle. Learn more at www.jnellciesielski.com.
More from J’nell
When we think of the Great War we often only think about events happening right on the battlefield of France, Belgium, and Germany. It was a time of great upheaval for so many people and countries, none more so than Russia. It was during the Great War that the Bolsheviks rose up against the monarchy, assassinated the tsar and his family, and plunged Russia into civil war. The country was in such chaos that they pulled out of the war to deal with their own revolution. The Russian Revolution was the result of centuries of oppression and imperialism that finally boiled over. As the Bolsheviks seized power, nobles and anyone associated or favorable to the monarchy were stripped of their privileges and homes, many killed, and still thousands of others fled in fear of their lives where they became the great wave of White emigres.
The stories of the ill-fated Anastasia and the evil Rasputin are legendary, but it wasn’t until recently when I watched a Russian miniseries called Road to Calvary that I became fascinated with the nobles and their struggle and from all that an idea sparked that would become my upcoming release, The Ice Swan. It’s about a Russian princess fleeing the Revolution to Paris in 1917 where she meets a handsome surgeon who is breaking new grounds in cardiology. We see the plight of the White emigres who have taken refuge in Paris and founded their own little Russia in the heart of the city, the exhausted City of Light after four years of war, the overflowing hospitals, and highly controversial advancements in surgery. Plus, a romance to prove that true love can overcome any difference and who doesn’t need a little more love these days?
To celebrate her tour, J’nell is giving away the grand prize of a paperback copy of the book!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.
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J'NELL CIESIESLKI says
Thank you for your review! I’m delighted you enjoyed Wynn and Svetlana’s story!
Roxanne C. says
I have read only a couple of books with Russian characters, so this historical about a Russian princess on the run sounds fascinating.
What a beautiful cover!
Perrianne Askew says
I feel like you can never go wrong with a J’nell Ciesieslki novel. The Russian characters sound very interesting and very different from the norm.