100 books like Alix and Nicky

By Virginia Rounding,

Here are 100 books that Alix and Nicky fans have personally recommended if you like Alix and Nicky. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Rasputin: Faith, Power, and the Twilight of the Romanovs

Mickey Mayhew Author Of Rasputin and his Russian Queen: The True Story of Grigory and Alexandra

From my list on Rasputin and his Russian queen.

Why am I passionate about this?

I can’t explain the fascination with Rasputin, but one hears the name so frequently via the Boney M pop song, so I took that as the inspiration - and the title - of my book. I saw a book about him in Waterstones one day and had to pick it up, even though it was so big it might’ve doubled as a doorstop. But from then I was hooked; I read everything I could, watched more, and researched until I actually went to Russia. And then I research some more!

Mickey's book list on Rasputin and his Russian queen

Mickey Mayhew Why did Mickey love this book?

This was the book that inspired me to visit Russia, while researching Rasputin and the Romanovs, and then to write my own take on the relationship between Rasputin and Alexandra.

It’s a great book but hard-going for a novice, but I like to dive in at the deep end.

By Douglas Smith,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Rasputin as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

On the centenary of the death of Rasputin comes a definitive biography that will dramatically change our understanding of this fascinating figure

A hundred years after his murder, Rasputin continues to excite the popular imagination as the personification of evil. Numerous biographies, novels, and films recount his mysterious rise to power as Nicholas and Alexandra's confidant and the guardian of the sickly heir to the Russian throne. His debauchery and sinister political influence are the stuff of legend, and the downfall of the Romanov dynasty was laid at his feet.

But as the prizewinning historian Douglas Smith shows, the true…


Book cover of Nicholas and Alexandra

Mickey Mayhew Author Of Rasputin and his Russian Queen: The True Story of Grigory and Alexandra

From my list on Rasputin and his Russian queen.

Why am I passionate about this?

I can’t explain the fascination with Rasputin, but one hears the name so frequently via the Boney M pop song, so I took that as the inspiration - and the title - of my book. I saw a book about him in Waterstones one day and had to pick it up, even though it was so big it might’ve doubled as a doorstop. But from then I was hooked; I read everything I could, watched more, and researched until I actually went to Russia. And then I research some more!

Mickey's book list on Rasputin and his Russian queen

Mickey Mayhew Why did Mickey love this book?

An undoubted classic and one of the first books - if not the first - to treat the subject of Nicholas and Alexandra and their son Alexei’s hemophilia with a little sympathy.

Massie had a hemophiliac son but his regard for Rasputin as Alexei’s healer still leaves something to be desired.

By Robert K. Massie,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked Nicholas and Alexandra as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A superbly crafted and humane portrait of the last days - and last rulers - of the Russian Empire.

Complementing his Pulitzer prize-winning Peter the Great, in this commanding book Robert K. Massie sweeps readers back to the extraordinary world of imperial Russia to tell the story of the decline and fall of the ruling Romanov family: Tsar Nicholas II's political naivete; his wife Alexandra's obsession with the corrupt mystic Rasputin; and their son Alexis's battle with haemophilia.

Against a lavish backdrop of luxury and intrigue, Massie unfolds a family tragedy played out on the brutal stage of early twentieth-century…


Book cover of Alexandra: The Last Tsarina

Mickey Mayhew Author Of Rasputin and his Russian Queen: The True Story of Grigory and Alexandra

From my list on Rasputin and his Russian queen.

Why am I passionate about this?

I can’t explain the fascination with Rasputin, but one hears the name so frequently via the Boney M pop song, so I took that as the inspiration - and the title - of my book. I saw a book about him in Waterstones one day and had to pick it up, even though it was so big it might’ve doubled as a doorstop. But from then I was hooked; I read everything I could, watched more, and researched until I actually went to Russia. And then I research some more!

Mickey's book list on Rasputin and his Russian queen

Mickey Mayhew Why did Mickey love this book?

This one read more like a novel than a historical work, which I what I went for - partially - when writing my own work on the subject.

Also, it’s one of the few books sympathetic to Alexandra and doesn’t descend to calling her ‘neurotic’, ‘hysterical’, or any other such slurs designed to denigrate women.

By Carolly Erickson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Alexandra as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Taking advantage of material unavailable until the fall of the Soviet Union, this biography of Alexandra, the last tsarina, explores: her childhood bereavement; her long struggle to attain her romantic goal of marriage to Nicholas; the anguish of her pathological shyness; the struggles with her in-laws; a false pregnancy; her increasing eccentricities as she became more preoccupied with matters of faith; and her growing dependence on a series of occult mentors, the most notorious of whom was Rasputin.


Book cover of The Romanovs: 1613-1918

Mickey Mayhew Author Of Rasputin and his Russian Queen: The True Story of Grigory and Alexandra

From my list on Rasputin and his Russian queen.

Why am I passionate about this?

I can’t explain the fascination with Rasputin, but one hears the name so frequently via the Boney M pop song, so I took that as the inspiration - and the title - of my book. I saw a book about him in Waterstones one day and had to pick it up, even though it was so big it might’ve doubled as a doorstop. But from then I was hooked; I read everything I could, watched more, and researched until I actually went to Russia. And then I research some more!

Mickey's book list on Rasputin and his Russian queen

Mickey Mayhew Why did Mickey love this book?

A very helpful man and a very helpful book when it comes to a comprehensive overview of the Romanov regime and epoch as a whole.

Although it is rather an immense tome and thus perhaps not as accessible for a novice as some of the others I have recommended.

Again, unfortunately, Alexandra is not portrayed particularly sympathetically. 

By Simon Sebag Montefiore,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Romanovs as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Romanovs were the most successful dynasty of modern times, ruling a sixth of the world's surface. How did one family turn a war-ruined principality into the world's greatest empire? And how did they lose it all?

This is the intimate story of twenty tsars and tsarinas, some touched by genius, some by madness, but all inspired by holy autocracy and imperial ambition. Montefiore's gripping chronicle reveals their secret world of unlimited power and ruthless empire-building, overshadowed by palace conspiracy, family rivalries, sexual decadence and wild extravagance, and peopled by a cast of adventurers, courtesans, revolutionaries and poets. Written with…


Book cover of Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman

Nazila Fathi Author Of The Lonely War: One Woman's Account of the Struggle for Modern Iran

From my list on the feeling of having your identity taken from you.

Why am I passionate about this?

I fell in love with historical novels as a kid after I began reading books by French authors Alexandre Dumas, the father and the son. I was the kind of kid who read for days and even nights to finish a story. Books moved me, inspired me, and gave me the strength and wisdom that I have today. I cannot imagine a world without them. 

Nazila's book list on the feeling of having your identity taken from you

Nazila Fathi Why did Nazila love this book?

This was a page-turner and a great introduction to Russian history. Massie described her so vividly that years later, I can still visualize Catherine. The most fascinating aspect of the book for me was how a German child named Sophie reinvents herself to become Catherine the Great, the longest-serving Russian empress. 

By Robert K. Massie,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked Catherine the Great as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The fascinating true story behind HBO's Catherine the Great starring Dame Helen Mirren as Catherine the Great.

Born into a minor noble family, Catherine transformed herself into empress of Russia by sheer determination. For thirty-four years, the government, foreign policy, cultural development and welfare of the Russian people were in her hands. She dealt with domestic rebellion, foreign wars and the tidal wave of political change and violence churned up by the French Revolution.

Robert K. Massie brings an eternally fascinating woman together with her family, friends, ministers, generals, lovers and enemies - vividly and triumphantly to life.

History offers…


Book cover of Catherine the Great: A Short History

Judith Lissauer Cromwell Author Of Florence Nightingale, Feminist

From my list on biographies of women who made a difference.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always been captivated by stories about powerful women. After a corporate career as one of the first female executives in the international world of Wall Street, while raising two children as a single working parent, I returned to academia. I am a magna cum laude graduate of Smith College, hold a doctorate in modern European history, with academic distinction, from New York University. I wanted to ascertain whether the mostly male writers of history were correct in attributing the success of exceptional women to the bedroom. Meticulous research yielded a different narrative, one I delight in sharing.

Judith's book list on biographies of women who made a difference

Judith Lissauer Cromwell Why did Judith love this book?

British historian Madariaga, an expert in the field of eighteenth-century Russia, gives the reader a balanced, up-to-date, and insightful, multi-faceted yet concise, description of the vast empire that constituted Catherine’s Russia.  The author describes how a minor German princess seized the Romanov throne, how she contrived to become an autocrat ruling over all the Russias, and, how during her thirty-four-year reign, Catherine guided her country into becoming a major player in international power politics.

By Isabel de Madariaga,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Catherine the Great as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An eminent scholar of Russian history here presents the most informative, balanced, and up-to-date short study of Catherine the Great and her reign. This edition includes a new preface dealing with recently discovered sources and revised interpretations of the period.
Praise for the earlier edition:
"A panoramic view of Russia's social, political, economic, and cultural development and of its emergence as a formidable power in the international arena during the thirty-four years of [Catherine's] reign."-Anthony Cross, New York Times Book Review
"De Madariaga's book will be the standard and an essential guide for all students and scholars of Russian and…


Book cover of The Romanov Empress: A Novel of Tsarina Maria Feodorovna

Ken Czech Author Of The Tsar's Locket

From my list on the triumphs and tragedies of Russia's Romanovs.

Why am I passionate about this?

The Romanov saga has intrigued me since I was an undergraduate student in history many moons ago. Three hundred years of Romanov rule were filled with exotic beauty, violence, and tragedy. I went on to teach Russian history at university and was able to share some of the stories of the tsars and tsarinas with my students. Having authored books and articles in my academic field, my teaching career has ended. Now it is historical fiction that has captured my imagination and spurred me to pen my own novels set in 19th-century Africa and Afghanistan, as well as Russia during the reign of Ivan the Terrible.

Ken's book list on the triumphs and tragedies of Russia's Romanovs

Ken Czech Why did Ken love this book?

Gortner's story of Tsarina Maria Feodorovna, the wife of Tsar Alexander III, features incredible historical detail on the tumultuous events sweeping through Russia from the tragic death of her husband to the awful murder of her son, Nicholas II, and his family. Told in first person, we see through the tsarina's eyes the slow and inevitable collapse of the Romanov dynasty in the face of gargantuan political and social upheavals. The descriptions of jewels and dresses and festivals underscores Romanov privilege when only a few had so much more than most.

What I found particularly interesting was Gortner's description of the conflict between Maria and Alexandra, the wife of Nicholas II, that spiraled to mistrust, grief, and anger.

By C.W. Gortner,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Romanov Empress as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A Novel of Tsarina Maria Feodorovna From the opulent palaces of St. Petersburg to the World War I battlefields and the bloodied countryside occupied by the Bolsheviks, C. W. Gortner sweeps us into the fall of an empire and the bold heart of the woman who tried to save it.


Book cover of The Moon In The Palace

Stephanie Dray Author Of Becoming Madam Secretary

From my list on historical fiction women who changed the world.

Why am I passionate about this?

My graduating class in high school once designated me as “the most likely to start a feminist revolution.” That was a lot to live up to, but I’ve made a very small stab at it by writing about women who have changed our world. I love to bring awareness about the contributions great women have made in history, but I also want modern women to see themselves in these struggles. I always say that Historical Fiction is an exercise of empathy, and I hope my work encourages women today to get involved and make a difference in the world, too.

Stephanie's book list on historical fiction women who changed the world

Stephanie Dray Why did Stephanie love this book?

I adored this book because it gives us a peek into the early life of Chinese Empress Wu. Weina Dai Randel did her homework, and her words absolutely blossomed in ancient China.

With an extremely sympathetic young protagonist who rises to be a force in the Emperor’s court, this book captivated me. I also remember it as being rather romantic in its way.

By Weina Dai Randel,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Moon In The Palace as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"Randel's gorgeous debut novel seductively pulls back the curtain to reveal the heartbreaking world of...China."-Stephanie Dray, NYT bestselling Author of America's First Daughter
A thrilling work of historical fiction, bringing romance, intrigue, and the unexpected rise of an Empress to intoxicating life under the inscrutable moon.
In Tang Dynasty China, a concubine at the palace learns quickly that there are many ways to capture the Emperor's attention. Many hope to lure in the One Above All with their beauty. Some present him with fantastic gifts, such as jade pendants and scrolls of calligraphy, while others rely on their knowledge of…


Book cover of The Twentieth Wife

Kaia Alexander Author Of Written in the Ashes

From my list on badass adventurous women seeking love and belonging.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a queer/bi girl labeled as a tomboy from early on, I ached for a sense of belonging in my life that I only found in books. The adventurous women and girls that I looked for in the pages of books that were like friends to me spanned from Anne of Green Gables to Harriet the Spy. As I got older, I realized that important and awesome adventurous women had been left out of my history books, and only now are we starting to find out who they were, and how many women like myself were erased, and are now being redeemed through these wonderful stories.

Kaia's book list on badass adventurous women seeking love and belonging

Kaia Alexander Why did Kaia love this book?

Nur Jahan was one of the great queens of India, but I had never learned about her even in my studies at university.

I felt absolutely transported into her life, ambitions, and loves through this riveting novel that is so poetic you’ll want to read it in your bath with the door locked and a candle lit. This book feels like a window into the life of a woman you wish was your mother, your sister, your best friend.

It’s the first of the trilogy, and a magnificent journey into ancient India and the history of the Taj Mahal.

By Indu Sundaresan,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Twentieth Wife as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An enchanting seventeenth-century epic of grand passion and adventure, this debut novel tells the captivating story of one of India's most legendary and controversial empresses -- a woman whose brilliance and determination trumped myriad obstacles, and whose love shaped the course of the Mughal empire.
She came into the world in the year 1577, to the howling accompaniment of a ferocious winter storm. As the daughter of starving refugees fleeing violent persecution in Persia, her fateful birth in a roadside tent sparked a miraculous reversal of family fortune, culminating in her father's introduction to the court of Emperor Akbar. She…


Book cover of Empress Orchid

Melissa Addey Author Of The Fragrant Concubine

From my list on the concubines of imperial China.

Why am I passionate about this?

A tiny mention of the legendary ‘fragrant concubine’ in a travelogue had me search out more information… and more and more until I’d researched and written the stories of four imperial concubines in the Qing era (18th century China). Some rose to power, while others fell to madness. Their extraordinary lives within the high red walls of the Forbidden City fascinated me. Along the way I found a banished empress and a real woman who had endless myths grow up around her, as well as secondary characters like the Italian Jesuit turned court painter. An irresistible era and way of life to explore, in all its shades of light and darkness.

Melissa's book list on the concubines of imperial China

Melissa Addey Why did Melissa love this book?

A nobody-concubine rises to become Empress of China, making her way through the rituals and backstabbing of the imperial court. This is the closest to my own books and I loved the detail and the insights into the latter part of the Qing era, as well as the feeling of time running out for the imperial way of life. 

By Anchee Min,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Empress Orchid as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

To rescue her family from poverty and avoid marrying her slope-shouldered cousin, seventeen-year-old Orchid competes to be one of the Emperor's wives. When she is chosen as a lower-ranking concubine she enters the erotically charged and ritualised Forbidden City. But beneath its immaculate facade lie whispers of murders and ghosts, and the thousands of concubines will stoop to any lengths to bear the Emperor's son. Orchid trains herself in the art of pleasuring a man, bribes her way into the royal bed, and seduces the monarch, drawing the attention of dangerous foes. Little does she know that China will collapse…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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