Review

The Romanov Prophecy

by Steve Berry



Steve Berry's debut novel THE AMBER ROOM was a hit right out of the
gate when it was published last year. Unlike what typically happens
when the publicity machines over-hype a second work, Berry's
sophomore title, THE ROMANOV PROPHECY has pre-publication buzz,
which, if anything, understates how good this book really is.

THE ROMANOV PROPHECY grabs a hold of the reader within the first
few pages. It begins with an enigmatic prologue involving
Alexandra, Empress of Russia, and Father Gregorii Rasputin, the
monk who, for good reason, held sway over the Russian royal family
in the early years of the 20th century. The prologue foreshadows
the impetus for the novel: the Russian people, weary of a
succession of failed governments following the downfall of the
Communists, have voted to bring back the tsar. Miles Lord, an
Atlanta attorney with the prestigious firm of Pridgen &
Woodworth, is with his mentor, Taylor Hayes, helping to oversee the
selection process of the new tsar, ensuring that the tsar's
selection conforms to a rigorous set of conditions established
hundreds of years previously. Lord's life takes a dramatic turn
when he is the subject of an assassination attempt. Dogged by his
pursuers, Lord --- a black man in a city, and country, where people
of color are a rarity --- has no idea who is trying to kill him, or
what their motives might be.

Lord slowly comes to the realization that he has discovered
documents that indicate that, as had long been rumored, at least
one member of the Romanov royal family had survived the brutal
execution of the family by Marxist thugs and the true, direct line
heir to the Romanov throne exists. Lord, assisted by a mysterious
organization known as the Holy Band, slowly and methodically
unearths a puzzling but fascinating series of clues that, if a
prophecy of Rasputin is to be believed, leads to the Romanov
descendent. All the while, however, Lord is hounded by his
mysterious pursuers, who are guided in part by the one man Lord
trusts the most. Lord's search takes him across continents to a
destination that is ironic, apocalyptic and thrilling.

THE ROMANOV PROPHECY is a captivating work. Like THE AMBER ROOM, it
benefits from Berry's interest in the country, people and history
of Russia, an interest that he infuses into his books and that
ultimately infects his readers as well. One cannot read THE ROMANOV
PROPHECY without yearning to visit the country that Berry describes
so beautifully and intriguingly. Berry, however, never lets the
action get bogged down by the scenery; I'm surprised that THE
ROMANOV PROPHECY doesn't come with a blood pressure cuff
shrink-wrapped to it. But don't let that stop you from reading this
riveting work.

Berry's path to writing THE AMBER ROOM was long and arduous. THE
ROMANOV PROPHECY is, accordingly, more than an artistic triumph in
the thriller genre; it is also the ultimate justification of those
who had faith in Berry and, more importantly, Berry's faith in
himself. Highly recommended.

Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub on January 23, 2011

The Romanov Prophecy
by Steve Berry

  • Publication Date: April 26, 2005
  • Genres: Fiction, Thriller
  • Mass Market Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books
  • ISBN-10: 0345460065
  • ISBN-13: 9780345460066