Before there was Facebook and Twitter and TMZ there were “tongues”. These servants to the most royal courtiers in the world kept their ears and eyes open and their mouths shut. Or did they? When the humble and destitute Barbara becomes a chambermaid to the Empress Elizabeth in the Grand Russian Court her job is to spy on those all around and report back to her Queen.
Right away Barbara becomes an expert at sneaking silently through the castle hallways listening through cracks and spying through keyholes for her Madame. She is a clever study who learns the complicated ways of the court and uses them to her own advantage. When Barbara catches the power bug herself she uses her skills, grace and influence to improve her own station. Then long comes Sophie, a young naïve princess who needs a source on the inside. She and Barbara become loyal confidantes and friends…or are they just using each other in their quest for the upper echelons?
If you like an overflowing gold trimmed bustier, sophisticated conniving, sex, power, whispers by candle light, wealth and politics The Winter Palace is for you. This beautifully written, juicy historical novel about Katherine the Great’s climb to the top of the world’s most powerful court will keep you up long after your bedtime.