Image of Heart of Iron


Image of Heart of Iron

This is an engaging and well-written alternate history based on Russian history and society and, to an extent, is concerned with examining the uneasy relationship Russia has had with all things European. Sasha is a plucky and intelligently perceptive heroine and readers will thrill to her adventures and exploits.

Sasha Trubetskaya is looking forward to her debut in 1852 St. Petersburg — in a Russia where the Decembrists’ revolt was successful — but that’s up-ended by her Aunt Eugenia’s confrontation with the emperor, which ends with Sasha’s enrollment as one of Russia’s first female university students. Sasha must confront her instructors’ and fellow students’ sexism and racism toward the Chinese students she sees as allies. When her Chinese friends start disappearing, Sasha asks uncomfortable questions of those in power and soon, along with her companion Jack Bartram, is heading toward China, pursued by the head of the British Secret Service, Dame Florence Nightingale. (PRIME BOOKS, Aug., 312 pp., $14.95)
Reviewed by: 
Natalie A. Luhrs