A gripping continuation of The Secret Daughter of the Tsar
I enjoy this author's ability to bring history to life. I particularly enjoy the way she alternates the past with the present. Sometimes Historical Fiction can get a little heavy, but Jennifer Laam chooses just the right moments to switch back to present day Russia, which keeps the pace moving along at a fast clip. The continuation of Veronica and Michael's story, and the development of their relationship throughout their journey was just as compelling here as it was in the first book.
Veronica's personal struggle with her life choices, lack of family and career brought a new layer to the story. She wants her life to matter and she wants to take the opportunity she has been given to make a difference. She is an admirable character, although I felt her personal story as a strong individual could have ended on a high note had the author shown us a bit more about her professional future.
One of the things I love most about historical fiction is the opportunity to learn about different eras through the medium of story. I am a huge history buff, but I'm not well read in Russian history, which was one of the main reasons I was so eager to read this series. In Secret Daughter of the Tsar, the connection between the past and present characters felt more unified. That was somewhat lacking in this sequel. I found myself struggling to connect the historical figures from the first book with the historical figures of the second book. There was a piece of the puzzle missing between the two books that I struggled with throughout The Tsarina's Legacy, but despite this minor flaw, I still enjoyed the book immensely.
The Tsarina's Legacy is a compelling read that any historical fiction fan will enjoy. The characters are fascinating and the flow from past to present moves seamlessly from beginning to end, keeping the reader engaged and the pages turning.
The strength of Catherine the Great is evident on every page and I would love to have seen a bit more of Catherine in Veronica.