Candace Fleming's book deftly portrays the final years of Romanov rule.
Tsar Nicholas was born to rule and raised to understand that he ruled by divine right. Russia was divided into three groups in those days. The aristocracy who personally owned over ninety percent of all Russia's wealth lived in opulent homes with servants and beautiful clothes never mixing with anyone else. There was a professional class who were teachers, lawyers, doctors, clergy, etc. Everyone else was a peasant scraping by from day to day hoping for food to eat. Most peasants couldn't even afford shoes.
Still, many peasants still saw the Tsar as a benevolent father until his marriage to Alexandra, his German born Tsarina. Nicholas was always weak willed, but after his marriage he bowed even more to his wife's dictates. This, of course, included the welcoming of Rasputin a so-called holy man.
Rasputin's corrupting influence is just part of the reason Tsar Nicholas lost power. Read this fascinating tale of murder and rebellion to get the full story including the sad end of the Romanov family. Highly recommended!