Shortlisted for the Costa Children's Book Award 2007. The true story of master storyteller Arthur Ransome provides the background for this large scale and absorbing story. As a young man, Ransome was a journalist and, some thought, a spy, in Russia at the time of the enormous upheaval of the Russian Revolution. What he sees and how he feels about it is captivatingly described in this well written story.
Set at the time of the Russian Revolution, the end of a centuries old dynasty, the rise of the Bolsheviks sent shockwaves around the world. This is the story of one man who was there. It's real history - about the riches and excesses, the glory of the Russian nobility, Nicholas and Alexandra, their haemophiliac son, Alexei, notorious Rasputin, Lenin and Trotsky who ruled from palaces where the Czars had once danced till dawn. The man was real too, his name was Arthur Ransome. He was a writer, accused of being a spy, perhaps even a double agent, and he left his wife and beloved daughter and fell in love with Russia and a Russian woman, Evgenia.
Fictionalising history and blending it with real life, part i is told as a fairy tale. Wise and foolish kings, princesses, enchantresses (characters more suited to fairy tale than reality), wishes and magic, Russia with its vast cold plains and mighty cities, its riches and poverty, all play a part in the downfall of the Czars and rise of the new order. Part ii is about betrayal - Ransome the spy, bleak and threatening. Part iii is a love story, a fairy tale, ending - of Ransome's love for his daughter, Tabitha, and for Evgenia.
'a fascinating blend of history, spy story and love story, stylishly told.'
|Publication date:||5th July 2007|
|Suitable for:||11+ readers, 13+ readers|
|Other Categories:||All Shortlists and Winners|
One of the World Book Day 2015 Authors Marcus was our Guest Editor in July 2010. Click here to see all his selections. Marcus began to write seriously in 1994, and his first book, Floodland, was published by Orion in 2000, and won the Branford-Boase award for best debut children's novel. Witch Hill followed in 2001, and was nominated for an Edgar Allan Poe Award. The Kiss of Death was published in paperback in April 2009, and picked up a thread from his highly acclaimed My Swordhand is Singing (winner of the 2007 Booktrust Teenage Book Award). In between came what Marcus calls “my big ...More About Marcus Sedgwick