This is an extremely silly book. Grand Duchesses go AWOL from the Ipatiev House and the Bolsheviks do nothing about it. People roam around Lenin’s Russia with no form of ID on them, and enter Brezhnev’s Soviet Union with no visas. No-one can find a Russian Orthodox church in Paris in 1919 – evidently they missed the great big Russian Orthodox Cathedral built there in 1861. There is a strange sub-plot about an artist accidentally killing a policeman, which doesn’t fit in anywhere. Byelorussia, as it was generally known until the early 1990s, is referred to as “Belarus” in a scene set in 1971. The twist in the tale is obvious from very early on.
It’s actually quite entertainingly written. But it’s very, very silly.