No question about it—Catherine the Great is the new literary "it" girl. Following Robert K. Massie's spectacular biography Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman, Eva Stachniak's third novel The Winter Palace has a welcome home on our bookshelves.

It tells the story of Catherine's rise through the eyes of fictional narrator and loyal servant Barbara. Our reviewer goes on:

Adjusting rather too easily to a court in which “life is a game and every player is cheating,” Barbara soon allies herself with Catherine. The problem is that Catherine possesses overweening ambition herself, which Barbara, in these early days, only gets disturbing glimpses of from time to time.

Check out the trailer from Bantam:

Are you as enthralled with Catherine the Great as we are?

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