Updated: Apr 5, 2019
Thanks to Scholastic Trade Publishing for Providing a Review Copy.
“Worlds may burn and stars may fall, but I will never give up on he. No matter how far away she is, or how impossible to reach, as long as she is waiting at the end of it, my path is clear.”
- Jessica Khoury, Last of Her Name
As a refreshing, unique novel based off the tragic tale of the fall of the Russian Empire and the Romanovs, Last of Her Name is a beautifully-written Anastasia retelling which explores a story outside historical Europe and into a more complex galaxy. Told through the eyes of Stacia, readers get to truly feel all the emotions and feelings that allow this novel to captivate and create the sense of urgency that keeps readers wanting more. Although further character development of protagonists Stacia and Pol as well as more tension and buildup to the climax could have improved the plot, it is without a doubt an enjoyable read for lovers of space and fantasy. Delivering a fairly well-paced plot, Last of Her Name goes beyond the Anastasia legend and illustrates the power of friendship and loyalty, especially in a dark time of a violent revolution.
Working with her family in a vineyard on Amethyne, Stacia lives a comfortable life with her best friends, Pol and Clio. But everything changes when the leader of the Union, Alexei Volkov, comes to Afka and claims that one of Leonovas, the last line of monarchs killed by the Union, is alive, specifically Princess Anya Petrovna Leonova; and Stacia is Princess Anya. To save the alleged princess, Pol immediately takes Stacia away from their now destroyed home and flees from the Union while trying to find allies in a vast galaxy where no one can truly be trusted, but that’s not the only problem: Clio was left behind. Clio, Stacia’s closest friend and unrelated sister. Clio, who is in love with Pol and is Stacia’s better half, left on a destroyed planet with the Union. Even with everything around her falling apart: her family, her past, and even her trust, Stacia’s only and only goal is to get Clio back from the Union, no matter what.
The message surrounding friendship and loyalty in this novel real