Once you finish reading this story of a set of young adults coming of age, you will immediately want to start on book two. You see, this is what happened to me, except I didn't know about books three through seven until I was well into book #2! I finally finished the series earlier this year and consider it to be a major accomplishment (and a very fulfilling one). I must say that after book seven I was disappointed that I will no longer be hearing of Anna Buerenin and the illustrious characters that touched her life.This series is typically categorized by bookstores as "religious fiction". I will say that there is an underlying message about God (after all religion plays a huge part of Russian history) but it was simply woven into the story subtly and relevantly. I have read other Pella books and found this to be the case with them as well.This book was the start of my infatuation with historical fiction and I am thankful for it. I do recommend all seven in the series - read them, although it may take a while!
I'm So Glad I "Discovered" This Series!
Published by Thriftbooks.com User , 19 years ago
When I came across this book in my church's library a week ago, I wasn't too thrilled with it. Somehow, I ended up checking it out, but my expectations were not high. I expected either a boring, dry chronicle of Russia's history or a sappy, overdone love story. Well...a week later I can assure you that that is definitely not the case. "The Crown and the Crucible", set in the 1870's, is essentially the story of two families who represent the two basic types of people that were in Russia. There is Anna Burenin, a 17-year-old whose family has always been peasants, and there is 15-year-old Katrina Fedorcenko, whose life has been that of a high-ranking Russian aristocrat. Anna and Katrina's lives become intertwined when Anna goes to the Fedorcenko household to be a kitchen servant, and by a remarkable sequence of events, becomes Katrina's personal maid. But other things are happening as well in this novel. We see how unstable life was in Russia, and read how even Viktor Fedorcenko (Katrina's father) had to guard what he said around the tsar, whom he had known since childhood. Segei Fedorcenko, Katrina's brother, also has problem. It seems that he and Anna are beginning to fall in love...and how could ever be easy since he is an aristocrat and she is a maid? And the brutal war in Turkey over Russian territory only intensify his not-so-loyal thoughts toward the government. "The Crown and the Crucible" is a magnificently written story that expertly blends history with the lives of people. The characters themselves are wonderful, and I loved seeing the changes and growth in all of them...most notably Anna's Christian influence on Katrina. There is no character who you do not like and begin to know "personally" and nothing fake about the characterization. There are few books that are so well-written, historically accurate, and filled with characters you can't forget. I'm certainly glad I came across this book! And, of course, I desperately need the sequel now...
An epic of two girls and the Russia they both love.
Published by Thriftbooks.com User , 21 years ago
This is the first, and in my opinion, best book in the Russians series, which tells the story of the aristocratic Fedorcenkos, the humble Burenins, and their homeland as revolts and war assail it. The Burenins' poverty forces their daughter Anna to go to St. Petersburg and work on the vast Fedorcenko estate. Soon, she becomes personal maid to the Princess Katrina Fedorcenko. Though the shy, selfless maid and bold, willful princess are opposites, they become close friends, and as Anna learns the ways of the aristocracy, her faith slowly changes the fiery Katrina. But revolution and war loom darkly over Russia, and both watch helplessly as war erupts in their beloved Motherland. This is an excellent book in a good series, and it contains a wealth of information about Russia. The characters are vividly lifelike and the story is captivating in spite of a few slow places. I highly recommend it.
One of the best series I've read!
Published by Thriftbooks.com User , 21 years ago
The writing in this series is phenomenal! It is obvious that extensive research was done to make these books so real and vivid ... to the point that one forgets who is a creation of the author and who isn't! Definitely on my "must read" recommendation list!
Intriguing...You must read the entire series.
Published by Thriftbooks.com User , 22 years ago
I have always loved Russian history, and I found these books an excelent way to learn more about it. After reading the series, I got the opportunity to visit St.Petersburg, Russia where much of the story takes place, and I was amazed at how accurate the books had been in history and setting. The books are so well written that you feel like you are part of the story. The characters seem like your best friend and you never want to put the books down. I found myself reading in eery spare moment I had and before I read these books, I hated to read. These are great books for teenagers to read because of their clean content. You will not be disappointed.
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