Forthcoming #FridayReads: TSARINA

Samantha Slavin here, and I am so excited to introduce today’s Forthcoming #FridayReads, Ellen Alpsten’s debut, TSARINA–the first and only (historical) account of how serf Marta became Empress Catherine, the first woman to ever rule Russia.

TSARINA is Marta’s story, a child born out of wedlock and into devastating poverty. Her life changes when she is sold to a merchant who introduces her to luxury, loneliness, and abuse. After running away and reinventing herself (multiple times), Marta falls into Tsar Peter of Russia’s powerful embrace. Marta remains by his side through twelve pregnancies, conniving friends, family executions, royal drama, enough secrets to last a lifetime, and is eventually and triumphantly crowned Catherine Alexeyevna, Empress of Russia.

Seventeenth century Russia glitters in this impeccably researched, thrilling, and dark period drama. Marta’s epic journey from serfdom to royalty is brutal, sexy, and very twisted. TSARINA has a bit of everything and will appeal to fans of Phillippa Gregory, Hilary Mantel, and A GAME OF THRONES. And to quote one of our colleagues, “Russians haven’t been done like this before.”

TSARINA is available on Edelweiss here! If you’d like to read a print ARC, email me at

TSARINA by Ellen Alpsten; 9781250214430; available 10/13/20.

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