This is a fictional retelling of events from Catherine's perspective. The author admits to taking liberties with historical facts so it is not strictly correct; however, for me this took nothing away from my enjoyment of the novel.
I find the story of Sophia/Catherine fascinating. Maybe it's because of the movie, Scarlett Empress, which I also love, that gives this story enduring mystique for me.
Duchess Catherine, by Caravaque, Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain
Sherry Ficklin's fictional account is well written without too much fuss. I especially enjoyed how she shows Catherine's cleverness in dealing with the eccentricities and inexplicable behaviours of her new husband, Peter III of Russia.
In her memoirs Here, Catherine calls her husband "an idiot" and "good for nothing". Certainly Peter is shown in film as something of a lunatic.
Because the first important order of business is to produce an heir, trying to do this with a hapless husband becomes the challenge of the century.
Peter III of Russia, after Grooth (Versailles), Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain
In addition to coping with Peter's foibles, Catherine must also deal with the Empress herself. Even though Catherine is now duchess, it doesn't mean things are clear sailing. And there are plenty of background plots and subterfuges by everyone to spice things up. Along the way Catherine manages to have a romance or two of her own. Imagine all that at 16 years of age!
If you like to read historical fiction, or Russian history in particular, you will love reading Queen of Tomorrow. I'm looking forward to the final instalment, Queen of Always, when we see Catherine consolidate her power!
Sherry Ficklin is a best-selling Young Adult writer who resides in Colorado, U.S.A.