Carnegie Medal winner Theresa Breslin returns with an extraordinary story of love, loss and friendship set during the chaos and turmoil of the Russian Revolution
Shortlisted for the Historical Association's Young Quills Award 2018
Nina Ivanovna’s world is in turmoil. Her only hope is to travel to St Petersburg, to escape the past and find a future.
Stefan Kolodin is a medical student – young and idealistic, he wants change for Russia and its people.
Amidst the chaos of a city in revolt, their lives collide. And a stormy relationship develops . . . full of passion and politics.
But soon Nina is drawn in to the glamorous, lavish lives of the Russian royal family – where she begins to fall under the spell of their mysterious monk, Grigory Rasputin. The ruby-studded dagger he carries – beautiful and deadly – could save her and Stefan from a cursed life
. . . or condemn them to it.
‘An outstanding writer – simply superb’ Independent
“A thrilling tale of political action and love . . . Breslin evokes compassion for the hapless Imperial family, without losing sense of the crisis facing Russia’s people, and seamlessly inserts her characters into the events leading to the rise of the Bolsheviks”
“Theresa Breslin gives a gripping account of Nina’s life in St Petersburg amongst the growing unrest of The Russian Revolution, seamlessly blending historical events and traditional folk tales with a dramatic plot. This meticulously researched book is a must-read for historical fiction fans and a great way to mark the centenary of the Russian Revolution.”
Scottish Book Trust (Children's Book of the Month)
“Breslin's young adult book takes on some big themes from Russian history and makes them accessible to all.”
“Rich with historical detail this fascinating and epic tale will sweep you away whilst reminding us of the chaos and turmoil of the Russian Revolution. Riveting.”
South Wales Evening Post
“There will no doubt be many more novels about the [Russian] revolution this year and this will be at the forefront.”
Books for Keeps
“[A] wonderful historical novel, filled with fear and violence, starvation and romance.”
“There are thrills and surprises along the way, and the invented characters mingle with those taken from the historical record. The novel is a very good way to introduce young adults to these extraordinary people.”
The History Girls
“I absolutely loved The Rasputin Dagger. [I] completely fell in love with the writing in The Rasputin Dagger, and I will definitely be diving into more stories by [Breslin]. Breslin really is an expert storyteller; she reeled me into her world of revolutionary Russia, and I was very sad to leave it at the end of the book.”
Delightful Book Reviews
“Theresa has woven her magic again! Everything felt so real (probably because some of it was). Be sure to add this to your book collection - its now on [my] reread shelf!”
Nayu's Reading Corner
“The Rasputin Dagger was my first historical YA in a while, and I was really craving a good one. Luckily it delivered! I found it totally immersive . . . I adored the way politics was woven in, something which is often neglected or glossed over in YA books.”
Bookish at Heart