Book Review: The Witches of St. Petersburg by Imogen Edwards-Jones

witches of petersburgImogen Edwards-Jones and the blog tour for her new book, The Witches of St. Petersburg joins Novel Kicks today. 

The Russian Empire is on the verge of collapse. Revolution is in the air. The starving stalk the streets of St Petersburg and yet the Imperial Court still commute between their estates and organise their lavish balls.

Two sisters arrive in the city. Princesses from Montenegro; they are famed for their wild beauty and mystical powers. Initially ridiculed and outcast as the daughters of a provincial ‘Goat King’, they react in the only way they know how. They befriend the isolated Tsarina Alexandra and, using their gifts, they help her in her increasingly desperate quest to give birth to a son and heir. The circle closes. The girls are the gateway. Gurus, clairvoyants, holy fools and charlatans all try their luck. Then in one last, doomed, throw of the dice, the sisters introduce Rasputin into the Russian Court…

Based on the true story of the lives of Princess Militza and Princess Anastasia of Montenegro during the dying days of the Russian Empire, The Witches of St Petersburg is a tale of love, lust, power and betrayal at the heart of the Romanov Court.

Although I don’t know too much about it, this part of Russian history has always held a fascination for me and is why I wanted to read this novel especially as it is based on a true story.

Militza was the most fascinating character for me. Her relationship with her sister was also intriguing. There are very much outsiders and I can relate to that.

The overall setting was written so vividly and with much detail. You can tell how much work and love went into writing this book.

I did find it hard to keep up with who everyone was to begin with. There was a few times where I had to refer to the handy character guide at the beginning but this wasn’t a huge deal; just hard to keep up with all the Russian names.

The plot is engaging and had me wanting to keep reading. It has also made me want to find out more about this period in history.

This book has such a fantastic gothic feel to it and is a perfect novel to read especially at this time of year.

It has magic and witchcraft but it also looks at the position of women in that time and how they were pretty much used as a business transaction regardless of their feelings.

I can’t say too much about it as I don’t want to give anything away. A great book that is written well and has a beautiful cover.


witches of st petersburg


About Imogen: 

Imogen-Edwards-JonesShe is author of some 20 books including the well-received travel book – The Taming of Eagles – about the first 100 days of the collapse of Communism, (after which she went on to present the BBC Radio 4 documentary– Bucks in the USSR). Her novels include My Canapé Hell, Shagpile, The Wendy House and Tuscany for Beginners. She has co-edited Big Night Out (the celebrity collection of short stories with contributions from Kate Moss to Bob Geldof, in aid of the War Child charity) and In Bed With a collection of erotic short stories with contributions from Fay Weldon and Esther Freud. She has also ghosted various memoirs for TV personalities.

She was responsible for the hugely successful Babylon series, which includes the Sunday Times best sellers Hotel Babylon, Air Babylon, Fashion Babylon, Beach Babylon and Pop Babylon. The series has sold over 1 million copies in the UK alone, been translated into some twenty different languages worldwide and made into two BBC Primetime TV shows.

For more information, visit Imogen’s website: and say hi on Twitter:

The Witches of St. Petersburg was released by Head of Zeus. It is available in most UK book shops and online. Click to view on Amazon UK.


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I’m Laura. I started Novel Kicks in 2009. I wanted a place to post my writing as well as give other writers like me the opportunity to do the same. There is also a monthly book club, a writing room which features writing prompts, book reviews, competitions, author interviews and guest posts.

I grew up by the sea (my favourite place in the world) and I currently live in Hampshire. I am married to Chris, have a cat named Buddy and I would love to be a writer. I’m trying to write the novel I’ve talked so much about writing if only I could stop pressing delete. I’ve loved writing since creative writing classes in primary school. I have always wanted to see my teacher Miss Sayers again and thank her for the encouragement. When not trying to write the novel or writing snippets of stories on anything I can get my hands on, I love reading, dancing like a loon and singing to myself very badly. My current obsession is Once Upon a Time and I would be happy to live with magic in the enchanted forest surrounded by all those wonderful stories provided that world also included Harry Potter. I love reading chick lit. contemporary fiction and novels with mystery.

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