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Carpe Librum

Bookish conversation with author Samantha Wilcoxson.


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Historical Novel Society

Empress of the Night by Eva Stachniak

Empress of the Night - Eva Stachniak

From the moment I started listening to this book, I could tell that it was something unique. It was probably a novel that I would have enjoyed more in print than as an audiobook. Listening too it, I found my mind wandering and got lost in the disjointed storytelling.


Beginning with the scene of Catherine's dying moments, Empress of the Night has a dreamlike quality of the empress' life flashing before her eyes. Instead of a comprehensive biography, the reader is given random snippets that stand out to Catherine as her last breaths slip away. Some scenes are told in exquisite detail, while others are never mentioned. Most of the focus is on Catherine's legendary love-life.


There is some beautiful prose in this novel, but not enough of a distinct plot to keep my interest in this format.