The Russians

by Michael Phillips and Judith Pella

I first started reading The Crown and the Crucible while I was in high school. I enjoyed this literary journey into a turbulent era of Russian history and quickly went on to read the next four books in The Russians series. Two years ago, I returned to the series again after learning there had been two additional titles added since my first reading.

I’m not usually one for rereading, but this series was just as delightful the second time around. They are wonderful stories where drama, history, and a little romance mingle together like the flavors of a favorite coffeehouse blend.

I loved the characters and stories, but what made this series especially enjoyable for me were the numerous history lessons I learned along the way. Phillips and Pella do an excellent job of weaving historical facts into the fictional lives of their characters. I feel like I’ve taken a course in Russian history – but without the tedious lectures and term papers. (In fact, I did take a Russian history class in college and I was surprised by how much I already knew simply from reading these books.)

If you enjoy historical fiction, get your hands on this series. The first few books are no longer in print, but if you can find them in a library or a used book store, it will be worth the search!

For your information, here is a complete listing of the series.:

#1 – The Crown and the Crucible

#2 – A House Divided

#3 – Travail and Triumph

#4 – Heirs of the Motherland

#5 – The Dawning of Deliverance

#6 – White Nights, Red Morning

#7 – Passage Into Light

* Books #1-3 were written by Phillips and Pella, Books #4-7 are by Judith Pella only.