Title: Anastasia’s Secret
Author: Susanne Dunlap
Publisher: Bloomsbury Childrens
Release Date: March 2nd 2010
Pages: 352
Genre(s): Historical Fiction, Young Adult
Purchase: The Book Depository | 

❝ For Anastasia Romanov, life as the privileged daughter of Russia’s last tsar is about to be torn apart by the bloodshed of revolution. Ousted from the imperial palace when the Bolsheviks seize control of the government, Anastasia and her family are exiled to Siberia. But even while the rebels debate the family’s future with agonizing slowness and the threat to their lives grows more menacing, romance quietly blooms between Anastasia and Sasha, a sympathetic young guard she has known since childhood. But will the strength of their love be enough to save Anastasia from a violent death?

Inspired by the mysteries that have long surrounded the last days of the Romanov family, Susanne Dunlap’s new novel is a haunting vision of the life-and love story-of Russia’s last princess.

After having written a huge paper for history about the Romanov family and their execution, I really got into their story. Yet most of the books I consulted for information were dull and quite boring, until I came across Anastasia’s Secret. Despite the fact that it was fiction, I wanted to give it a try anyway and it has been a fun read.

The main character, Anastasia, was well written and (as far as I could tell from the information I gathered) very much like the real Anastasia; a girl with a perky attitude who was often seen as the clown of the family.

In contrast to how well written Anastasia’s character was, I actually despised Sasha. He had his good traits and his flaws, there’s no doubt about that. But the way he was portrayed often had me wondering who’s side he was really on: Anastasia’s, or of those who wanted her and her family dead, and that annoyed me.

I found myself questioning how Anastasia fell in love with Sasha because the boy was bitter and very denigrating about the girl’s ignorance due to her privileged upbringing. I could imagine Anastasia liking him because he knew things of the outside world that she did not, but he was still disrespectful and rude.

Furthermore, I hated the fact that the grand duchess lost her virginity to Sasha. I found it very unlikely for this to happen considering her age and the sheltered upbringing she had.

Other than that, I really liked the book. There was a good balance between the factual information and the fictional scenes. Dunlap tried to stick to the real story as much as possible and I enjoyed it when I recognized places or people who were mentioned.

I was in doubt whether to give it four stars or three, but eventually settled for three. I enjoyed the book enough to finish it in one day, but there definitely were flaws.

Anastasia's Secret






Writing Style







  • Good balance between fact and fiction
  • Well written main character


  • Unsure whether to like or hate the love interest
  • The relationship of the main character seemed unnatural