The Pearl of Dubai by Grant Foster

pearlReviewed by Chris Phillips

Foster writes another accounting of the life of the real Anastasia, Daughter of the last Tsar of Russia. Historical fiction can be confining if the facts are maintained. Foster appears to have researched and verified as much as he can and still render an interesting romantic mystery.

The tale begins in 1916 with the Imperial Family spending more time at the Winter Palace. There are secrets, intrigues, Rasputin and Bolsheviks throughout. The story follows the historical line from there referring back to history when needed but not becoming overburdened with historical references.
Although Foster is dealing with historical reality and personalities the plot is not hampered and flows very well. This reviewer has never even considered the premise for this plot before and the title indicates a different twist to the story of Anastasia at least. When the plot begins to build and everything falls into place, there are sufficient surprises to keep the reader turning the pages.

The characters stay true to history with the plot twist considered. The introduction of a culture currently greatly misunderstood helps to enhance the development of the characters introduced for fiction flow. Each character is lifelike and full. The personalities shine through the written word revealing just sufficient quirks to make the whole book interesting.

The re-telling of Anastasia’s mystery doesn’t spoil the book. Overall Pearl is a surprisingly easy read with delightful characters, a tight plot and just enough romantic spark to generate a new search for Anastasia and legends of her life. Since writing is not Foster’s first career, the other books promised on the back cover are definitely worth waiting for. This is heartily recommended to any and all readers, but of particular interest to the Anastasia story fans.

For criticism the author would be well served by utilizing a good editor and proof reader. But this does not prevent any reader from enjoying the book.

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