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#409 ~ Enchantments

Enchantments by Kathryn Harrison

Published by: Random House

Published on: March 6, 2012

Page Count: 336

Genre: Historical Fiction

My Reading Format: ARC sent to me by the publisher in order to participate in the author’s TLC Book Tour.

Available Formats: Hardcover and eBook

Giveaway Information: As part of this book tour, Random House books has graciously offered a copy for me to giveaway to one of my lucky readers. To enter this giveaway, simply leave a comment to this post. I will use the Number Randomizer to select the winner on Saturday, March 10th.


tlc-logo-resizedToday it is my great pleasure to be Kathryn Harrison’s host on her TLC Book Tour.  This tour is to celebrate her new novel, Enchantments.

I have a lot of fun working as a tour host for TLC Book Tours.  They always have great books and authors on tour.  Check out their website for more information on this tour and the others that they are hosting.


My Review

From the moment Rasputin’s body was pulled from the frozen Neva river, the lives of his daughters were placed in the hands of Tsar Nikolay and his family.  On top of the danger of being associated with the Romanov family, Masha, Rasputin’s eldest daughter, was under pressure from Tsarina Alexandra, who  believed that Masha inherited the healing powers of her father. Masha knew that wasn’t true. In fact, when Prince Aloysha suffered injuries due to his hemophilia, she ran away. Somehow Masha had to make a way in the imperial palace and keep her sister and herself safe from the revolution closing in on them all.

Enchantments tells the story of Rasputin and the Romanov family within the relationship of Masha and Aloysha. Masha may not have had her father’s powers of physical healing, but she was able to bring emotional comfort to Aloysha through her stories. As they are imprisoned together, the two create a world of their own. A world where Aloysha can explore the land he had been born to lead but was too ill to see for himself. The relationship isn’t one sided. Aloysha gives Masha a place to be herself with a person who understood the feelings she had for her father. Masha and Aloysha’s relationship began with the stories, but it grew more intense the worse the situation with the Romanov’s became. The increased intimacy between the two made the stories of their families all the more compelling.

Just as The Winter Palace was my first adventure in Russia through Historical Fiction, Enchantments was my first Romanov read. I began the book with vague notions of who Rasputin was and what happened to the Romanovs. I remember the  stories of Anastasia Romanov that popped up occasionally during my early years. The most rewarding part of this read was the way that Kathryn Harrison weaved the rumors and realities together, bringing them all together through the life of Masha. It is no less difficult to be the daughter of a mysterious, charismatic spiritual healer with a healthy sexual appetite than it was to be the sheltered heir to a dying throne. While Masha may have seen more in her life, was she any less free from her father and his destiny? Somehow she managed to live as her father requested and still found a way to live the life she imagined, even if Aloysha couldn’t be a life-long part of it.

Enchantments, despite one section about the devil that left me a little puzzled, reminded me of why I love Historical Fiction. When it is good, it not only prompts the reader to explore another time and place, there is much to think about and apply to modern life. Regardless of genre, Kathryn Harrison knows how to tell a story. Not only is this book interesting to a first timer like me, but I’ve discussed this book with those more experienced with this time period and they have enjoyed it as well. Seeing it all from the point of view of Rasputin’s daughter definitely made it special. I highly recommend this read. If you don’t already have a copy, don’t hesitate to enter my giveaway.


Kathryn Harrison’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS:

Monday, March 5th:  Unabridged Chick
Tuesday, March 6th:  Chaotic Compendiums
Thursday, March 8th:  Dolce Bellezza
Monday, March 12th:  Broken Teepee
Tuesday, March 13th:  Luxury Reading
Wednesday, March 14th:  Library of Clean Reads
Thursday, March 15th:  The Lost Entwife
Monday, March 19th:  Let Them Read Books
Wednesday, March 21st:  Stiletto Storytime
Friday, March 23rd:  The Muse in the Fog Book Review
Monday, March 26th:  A Library of My Own
Wednesday, March 28th:  Col Reads
Thursday, March 29th:  Life in Review

13 Comments

  • At 2012.03.07 01:28, Kailana said:

    As soon as I popped over to your review I was interested. After reading it, though, I think I am going to have to add it to the wish list. Great post!

    • At 2012.03.07 11:08, Karen White said:

      As usual, I share your thoughts on historical fiction – so well articulated. I don’t know much about this period either and would love to read the book.

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      • At 2012.03.07 12:24, Colleen Turner said:

        This book sounds just wonderful! I love historical fiction so would love to give this book a try.

        • At 2012.03.07 12:49, bermudaonion (Kathy) said:

          I used to be so fascinated with Rasputin and would read all I could about him. This book sounds really good to me. Please enter me.

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          • At 2012.03.07 13:21, Leah @ The Pretty Good Gatsby said:

            I’ve been wanting to read this book for a while now! I have such a huge fascination with the Romanovs and this book sounds fantastic.

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            • At 2012.03.07 13:31, Kristy McRae said:

              This book sounds fabulous! I’ll definitely be checking it out. Thanks so much for the opportunity to enter the drawing!

              • At 2012.03.07 19:54, rhonda said:

                I love historical Fiction thanks for giveaway Lomazowr@gmail.com

                • At 2012.03.07 21:34, Justice @ cheapblackpens said:

                  This sounds really cool! I would love to read it and I’m adding it to my wish list 🙂

                  • At 2012.03.08 10:28, Teresa Lukey said:

                    I recently read Catherine the Great and now find myself very interested in the Ramanov’s. I would love this book, thanks for the giveaway.

                    • […] ~ Enchantments by Kathryn Harrison, reviewed by Jennifer at Literate Housewife […]

                      • At 2012.03.11 00:07, Heather J. @ TLC Book Tours said:

                        It’s difficult to write a book that works for newbies and longtime fans of a particular period in history, so I’m doubly impressed that this book works both groups!

                        I hope you’ll venture into more Russian stories (I’m a huge fan of Russian history). Thanks for being on the tour!

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