Goodreads rating: 3.6
Alone in the world, Sophie dreams of being someone special, but she could never have imagined this.
On a school trip to Russia, Sophie and her two friends find themselves on the wrong train. They are rescued by the beautiful Princess Anna Volkonskaya, who takes them to her winter palace and mesmerises them with stories of lost diamonds and a tragic past. But as night falls and wolves prowl, Sophie discovers more than dreams in the crumbling palace of secrets.
This was a pretty good middle grade book about a girl who gets to live her dream and travel to Russia. She travels with her friends and find out that they are in for more than they bargained for. A princess, a mystery and a conspiracy all tied into one book.
Sophia and her friends were interesting to say the least. Delphine, the pretty and popular one, Marianne, the brainy one, and Sophia, the quiet girl no one notices but whose destiny may be much greater than she is aware. I understand spending time with a princess is exciting but I don't like how all of them just kept fawning over her, no matter how odd or rude she acted. Granted, the author tried to explain that away but to me it was just weird.
The plot was very interesting and really kept me reading for no other purpose than to find out what happens in the end. Do they find the lost Volonsky diamonds? Will Sophie and the others get back to London? What will happen to the princess, the palace and the staff? Didn't blow me away but not too bad an effort.
My biggest issue with the book was there was almost too much foreshadowing leading to the ending... Enough where I wasn't blown away but any great reveal, which makes me sad. Granted, it is a middle grade book and maybe some of the reveals will be better for others.
I love wolves, and I love books on princesses so I anticipated this book to be right up my alley. I'm not in love with it, though it was a good read. It's nice for a casual read, maybe while waiting for your next favorite book in your favorite series to come out (like I am). Was grateful to read something that wasn't in a series and had a pleasant happily ever after ending.
The Court's Decision: