Sam Eastland - The Eye of the Red Tsar

1 ratings (1 Epinions review)
Share This!
  Ask friends for feedback

The Eye of the Romanovs

Aug 5, 2010
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Engaging, easy to read, good plot.

Cons:Historically not completely accurate.

The Bottom Line: Although not completely historically accurate, the author never claimed that it was (billed as fiction).  Very engaging.  Recommended.


I find Russian history very enticing, especially the events surrounding the disappearance of Russian royalty and the establishment of the Soviet state.  Sam Eastland covers this period in his novel "The Eye of the Red Tsar".  Using a fictional character, Inspector Pekkala, Eastland delves into the murder of the Romanov family, an event that remained a mystery for a very long time.

Inspector Pekkala was born in Finland, at a time when Finland was a province of Russia under Tsar Nicholas II.  Joining a Regiment of Tsars Finnish guards, Pekkala is identified by the Tsar himself for his photographic memory and incredible integrity.  In fact, Nicholas gives Pekkala power to arrest members of the imperial family themselves, including the Tsar, if need be.  Believing in symbols, Nicholas gives Pekkala a gold badge with a large emerald in the center, resembling an eye.  The Inspector became known as Emerald Eye throughout Russia from then on.

Being faithful to the Tsar, Pekkala is thrown into a Siberian prison for years by the new Bolshevik government after Tsar abdication and disappearance, until the new leader, Comrade Stalin, offered him a deal: stay in prison, or help find out what happened to the Romanov family, and get pardoned.  Pekkala chose the latter.

Thus starts Emerald Eye's adventure that takes him, Commander Anton, and Commissar Kirov (two Soviet officers assigned to escort and help Pekkala in his mission) from Siberia to the Urals and Sverdlovsk (formerly Ekaterinburg).  From forests to insane asylums to fake villages, the trio encounters dangers and in the process becomes friends where friendship was unlikely.

I really liked the fictional part of this book, as it is fast-paced, well-written, and without dull parts.  For those without the knowledge of Russian history, the non-fictional parts of the book that were incorporated will also sound believable, as some parts, indeed, were true.  Eastland mentioned the Romanovs' imprisonment in Ipatiev house in Ekaterinburg, Tsarevich Alexei's hemophilia, Romanovs' murder in the basement of the house, their bodies being dumped in a mine shaft just outside of a town, all of which are correct. 

However, Eastland wrote that the bodies were still in a deep mine shaft over ten years after the Romanovs' murder.  This is incorrect.  The mine shaft was so shallow that not all of the bodies could fit, so they were buried nearby the very next day.  Eastland mentioned that all the bodies were fully clothed, which is incorrect.  All the bodies were stripped naked.  Eastland never mentioned the four bodies of the Romanovs' servants murdered with the Romanovs, or the missing body of one of the daughters (both the body of Maria and Alexei are suspected to had been buried close by). 

In any case, Eastland does not claim for his story to be correct.  It just may be somewhat annoying to those who study Russian history to read this account and to reprogram their thinking to accommodate this fictional account.  Once the reader does that, the novel is engaging and fun.  Recommended.


Recommend this product? Yes

Read all comments (4)

Share this product review with your friends   
Share This!


Related Deals You Might Like...

Eastland Men's Brooklyn - Burgundy Leather Red 9.5

Eastland Men's Brooklyn - Burgundy Leather Red 9.5

This moc toe boot features a padded collar with a lug unit outsole. Fully lined and features a padded tongue and a cushioned insole.
Sears

$119.95

FREE Shipping
Eastland Newport (Women's) - Brown - Medium (B) 10

Eastland Newport (Women's) - Brown - Medium (B) 10

Womens Casual Slip On Shoes from Eastland: Eastland Newport (Women's) - Brown. Slip On Leather Casual Twin Gore Shoes. Sizes: 10 Widths: Medium (B). T...
ShoeMall

$67.95

FREE Shipping
Eastland Daily Double: Men's Ankle Boot

Eastland Daily Double: Men's Ankle Boot

Ankle Boots: Eastland Daily Double - Male Adult - Tan Leather - Sizes 8.5|9|9.5|10|10.5|11|11.5|12|13 - Widths: D - For a versatile addition to your w...
Onlineshoes.com

$109.95

FREE Shipping
Eastland Lagoon II Sandals - Women

Eastland Lagoon II Sandals - Women

Featuring Eastland exclusive Active Memory Foam comfort insoles, these Eastland Lagoon II sandals are the next best thing to barefoot. In tan. Shoe Fe...
Kohl's

$50.00

+$6.95 shipping
Eastland Kelsey 3334 Womens Leather Clog Shoes Burgundy 11 W

Eastland Kelsey 3334 Womens Leather Clog Shoes Burgundy 11 W

EASTLAND KELSEY LEATHER WOMENS CLOGS Model: Kelsey Part Number: 3334 Color: BURGUNDY Features Classics never go out of style and neither will these ti...
eBay

$46.99

+$9.70 shipping
Eastland Classic II Penny Loafer Shoes (Black) - Women's Shoes

Eastland Classic II Penny Loafer Shoes (Black) - Women's Shoes

Sizes Available: 11.0 W. These Classic II penny loafers from Eastland have a timeless style. Smooth leather upper in a casual loafer style with a rou...
Famous Footwear

$74.99

+$4.50 shipping
Eastland Kelsey Womens Leather Clogs (Brown)

Eastland Kelsey Womens Leather Clogs (Brown)

Clogs are synonymous with comfort, and the Kelsey women's clogs from Eastland are the epitome of feel-good slip ons. Crafted of luxe leather with cont...
JCPenney

$49.99

+$8.00 shipping
Eastland Black Leather Amore Shoe Clog Comfortable Quality Nice 8 $89

Eastland Black Leather Amore Shoe Clog Comfortable Quality Nice 8 $89

Up for auction is one pair of Eastland Amore black leather clog shoes for these are so nice.These are excellent quality shoes, very cross functional, ...
eBay

$59.99

+$8.99 shipping
Eastland Seville - Mens - Black

Eastland Seville - Mens - Black

Class up your look with the Eastland Seville. Leather upper with Opanka Stitch to sole construction for flexibility. Mesh lining with padded footbed o...
Eastbay

$79.99

+$7.99 shipping
Eastland Women's Newport Black Slip-on Shoes

Eastland Women's Newport Black Slip-on Shoes

Got plans that don't include sore feet? Slip on the Newport shoe and get going! Perfect for casual dress or everyday wear, it offers classic style wit...
QVC

$80.00

+$5.00 shipping