Review: The Imperial Wife

July 17, 2016 Fiction, Historical Fiction 6 ★★★

Review: The Imperial WifeTitle: The Imperial Wife
Author: Irina Reyn
Links: Bookshop (affiliate link) |Goodreads

Summary: This was a light, fast read with great parallel storylines, but an unsatisfying ending.

“Tanya Kagan, a rising specialist in Russian art at a top New York auction house, is trying to entice Russia’s wealthy oligarchs to bid on the biggest sale of her career, The Order of Saint Catherine, while making sense of the sudden and unexplained departure of her husband.” (source) As we learn more the provenance of the order and its ownership by Catherine the Great, there are clear parallels between the challenges she and Tanya each face.

The chapters in this book are short and the writing engaging. I found myself flying through, eager to know what happened to both protagonists. And I was equally interested in both protagonists, always something I look for in a dual narrative story. Likewise, the parallels between the two stories added depth to both, but were subtle enough not to feel forced. As a dual narrative, this had everything I look for.

The ending of this book was the only part that didn’t do it for me. Something that I think was supposed to be a big reveal was obvious to me, while other aspects of the ending struck me as too unbelievable. The ending was also too open ended, with the protagonist having done something unbelievable that I think would have ended incredibly badly, but the author gets around that issue be stopping before she has to face the consequences.

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