My rating: 4 of 5 stars
The Winter Palace, by Eva Stachniak is an absorbing, well-written read, spare on embellishment, indicating an author sure of her craft and subject.
The story chronicles the rise of Catherine the Great of Russia through a subsidiary character, that of a young woman adopted into the intrigues and espionage of the Russian court. Throughout the narrative Stachniak, an Amazon Canada First Novel Award Winner in 2000, weaves an intimate knowledge of environment and impeccably researched historical detail.
This is an excellent read.