Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The Mirrored World - Book Review

The Mirrored World by Debra Dean is the resplendent and fascinating tale of St. Xenia, a holy fool in eighteenth-century Russia. Told by Xenia's beloved cousin, the story tells of Xenia's passionate love for her husband, then her visions of tragedy followed by turning away from the material world to serve the impoverished of St. Petersburg.

Debra Dean tells this historical tale with an eye for the details of Elizabeth's eccentric court and then the paranoia that plagued Catherine the Great. I read the majority of the biography Catherine the Great by Robert K. Massie earlier this year and I think my prior knowledge of the society and history in Russia helped me enjoy and understand The Mirrored World better.

Dean has an engaging style of writing that is at lyrical and luxurious. She succeeds at bringing the history of St. Petersburg to life with her eye for detail and her knowledge of the history. However, much of the story is simply told by Dasha and was lacking the passion that Xenia allegedly felt for her husband Andrei. Overall, The Mirrored World is worth the read and one that is sure to pique your interest in Russian history.

**I received a complimentary copy of The Mirrored World in exchange for my honest review.**

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