Posted by on Jul 24, 2012

A Globe and Mail Best Book of the Year, 2012

Included in The Washington Post’s most notable fiction list of 2012.

Behind every great ruler lies a betrayal. Eva Stachniak’s novel sweeps readers into the passionate, intimate, and treacherous world of Catherine the Great, revealing Russia’s greatest monarch from her earliest days in court, where the most valuable currency was the secrets of nobility and the most dangerous weapon to wield was ambition.

Two young women, caught in the landscape of shifting allegiances, navigate the treacherous waters of palace intrigue. Barbara, the narrator, is a servant who will become one of Russia’s most cunning royal spies. Sophie is a naive German duchess who will become Catherine the Great. For readers of superb historical fiction, Eva Stachniak captures in glorious detail the opulence of royalty and the perilous loyalties of the Russian court.




At the same time baroque and intimate, worldly and domestic, wildly strange and soulfully familiar, “The Winter Palace” offers a flickering glimpse of history through the gauze of a deft entertainment.

The Washington Post


‘THE WINTER PALACE [has] an alluring, and convincing, air of menace.’

Jane Smiley, Globe and Mail



An extraordinarily absorbing book, The Winter Palace will have you on the edge of your seat.

The Daily Mail, UK


Character-driven and heavy with atmospherics …the kind of big, busty read that sends you back to the history books.

The Sunday Times, London


A sweeping novel about Catherine the Great’s ascent from young outsider to ruler of Russia, as told by a palace maid-and-spy who helped her rise to power.

Oprah Magazine, January 2012
“10 titles to pick up now”


…a wonderful novel, riven with intrigue and startling details, the sort to savour on a long winter eventing.

The Daily Telegraph, 5 star review


Eva Stachniak’s new novel should establish her as a pre-eminent writer of historical fiction… The Winter Palace is seamless in its depiction of a place and time… what Stachniak has given us is not history, but a dramatic recreation of what the witnesses to history actually manage to see and do.

Quill & Quire


Stachniak’s brilliant, bold historical novel of eighteenth-century Russia is a masterful account of one woman’s progress toward absolute monarchical rule… This superb biographical epic proves that The Tudors don’t have a monopoly on marital scandal, royal intrigue, or feminine triumph.



Stachniak blends historical fact with imagination, and the result is a lovingly rendered and sumptuously detailed look at a fascinating life.

StarTribune, Minneapolis


…meticulous research …this novel has breathed new life into a page of history…

Winnipeg Free Press


My local bookstore Another Story will ship a signed (and personalized if you wish) copy of TheWinter Palace anywhere in Canada. Please email the bookstore directly for details.