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The Tsar's Angel

M.K. Stelmack

UPDATE: MAY 2023. I'm about 85% through the revisions! My HQ novels have diverted me, but I am now under a deadline to deliver to my editor by June 15th... and I plan to release my first chapter sometime in June, too!


The Tsar's Angel  is my epic novel set in regency St. Petersburg. It's the story of Anna, an assassin of indeterminate origins on a mission to kill the Tsar, who finds herself in love with a Russian army officer. A man noble of both blood and spirit, Gavril is left with a stark choice: save the woman he's given his heart to, or the ruler who can restore his lands and the fortunes of the people living there.

As you may have guessed, Russia fascinates me. I first fell under the thrall of the Motherland after meeting my husband’s family who were few in number but all highly memorable. Through my reading of histories like Natasha’s Dance and Life on the Russian Country Estate and, a contemporary personal narrative, Up from Serfdom, I discovered that my in-laws were quintessential Russians: one thing or the other and nothing between.


Boris Starling in his thriller, Vodka, has his heroine sum it up: “…what are Russians if not human beings writ large? There’s duality in everyone, it’s the most universal of human characteristics, and though this isn’t unique to the Russians, they take it to greater extremes than other peoples.”


What better material for my dark yet lighthearted, tortured yet community-minded, fatalistic yet eternally optimistic, ruthless yet hospitable characters? And the setting! Russia has everything from magnificent palaces to dark forests, all the better for my adventurous heroes!

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