"Five cousins. Five fascinating lives. Julia Gelardi writes about her subjects with verve and passion."
- Dr. Amanda Foreman, author of Georgina: Duchess of Devonshire
"This fascinating story of five princesses ends with one murdered, two in exile, one in distress, and one content. They all made sacrifices to fulfill dynastic demands, and unlike Ambassadors who move about, they were committed for life."
- Hugo Vickers, author of the critically acclaimed biography Alice and The Unexpurgated Beaton
"Julia Gelardi has mastered well the complex craft-within-craft of writing dynastic history. Her multi-stranded story moves smoothly, presenting vivid pictures not only of the momentous and tragic lives of five women, but also of the extraordinary privileged but confined world of doomed European monarchy."
- Derek Wilson, author of All the King's Women and In the Lion's Court: Power, Ambition, and Sudden Death in the Reign of Henry VIII
"A wonderful story, and an enormously impressive piece of research. Julia Gelardi has drawn together the stories of these five queens and kinswomen to give fresh perspective on the turbulent early decades of the twentieth century."
- Sarah Gristwood, author of the critically acclaimed Arbelia: England's Lost Queen and Perdita
"Gelardi tells a compelling story of five of Queen Victoria's granddaughters who became queens themselves. Alongside the oft-told and tragic story of Alexandra, the last Tsarina of Russia, are skillfully woven the tales of Maud of Norway, Sophie of Greece and Ena of Spain, each of whom led remarkable lives. Most fascinating, though, were the adventures of Marie of Romania, the archetypal romantic royal beauty. The author takes us on a tumultuous and enjoyable journey through the lives of five royal women, as they each in their own way attempted to survive 'the Era of the Fall of Eagles.' "
- Leonie Frieda, author of Catherine de Medici
"Julia Gelardi has brought these 5 queens to vivid life, using much fascinating contemporary material and the voices of the women themselves. At the heart of the convulsions of early 20th century Europe, this interwoven story is a rollercoaster of human tragedy and spirited renewal. All five women repay Gelardi's extensive research and affectionate narrative but Marie of Romania stands out as remarkably heroic; compassionate to the impoverished, diseased and dying, courageous in everything, she was nevertheless determined to fill her own life to the brim with adventure and love."
- Jane Dunn, author of Elizabeth and Mary: Cousins, Rivals, Queens