Saturday, January 14, 2012

Review: The Diamond Secret (A Retelling of 'Anastasia')

The Diamond Secret 

Author: Suzanne Weyn


Nadya is a mischievous kitchen girl in a Russian tavern. Having nearly drowned in the Iset River during the turmoil of the Revolution, she has no memory of her past and longs for the life she cannot remember. Then two young men arrive at the tavern and announce that Nadya's long-lost grandmother has sent them to find her. Yearning for family and friendship, she agrees to accompany them to Paris for the joyful reunion. Nadya eagerly embarks on her journey, never dreaming it will be one of laughter, love and betrayal.

Published 2 June 2009


Hey guys, I know I haven't updated in quite while (a few days actually).

I was choosing soundtracks for this school musical that I wanted to audition for when Liz Callaway started singing Once Upon a December in my earphones. Liz's voice is amazing!

This song is from a movie soundtrack. And that movie coincidentally had quite a few books written along the same storyline.

Then I thought of my blog and its lack of reviews in the past few days. So here's a review, hopefully long-awaited, about a lost princess!~

I first knew of this particular lost princess when I watched one of my most favourite animated movies of all time, Anastasia (with Liz Callway singing ^o^).

There is something so mysterious and alluring about such historical personalities with enigmatic destinies that even historians can't figure out. 

Grand Duchess Anastasia's supposed survival was one of the most celebrated mysteries of the 20th century. Like Jack the Ripper in The Name of the Star, this kind of characters are really the best! They belong to history so we know that they once were real and alive, but simultaneously, their fate is left to our imagination, limited only by the outlandishness of our creativity!

It's really beautiful how we are free to imagine an exciting and romantic life for Anastasia. We can choose what we want to believe in, and I am more than willing to believe that Anastasia survived and found her one true love.

So the story begins with the historically famous assault on the Tsar and his family, which resulted in the panic of all the royalty as they face an uncertain future since many were killed for the revolution of communism in Russia. And as most of the royal family are killed, the Grand Dowager escapes to Paris, and there are rumours of the supposed survival of the youngest daughter, Anastasia.

The story jumps to Nadya, who slowly starts to have an uncanny resemblance to the lost princess, Anastasia. She has had amnesia and cannot remember her past. Her innocence is soon used by two men, a count and a handsome boy, Ivan, who dreams of the riches of the world. 

It turns out that the Grand Dowager, also Anastasia's grandmother, is offering a pricely reward for anyone who can bring to her her beloved granddaughter. Seeing Nadya's resemblence, the two men convince her that she is Anastasia, and the trio embarks on a journey to Paris all the while trying to train Nadya into a real princess. Gradually, they find themselves believing more and more deeply that Nadya is in truth Anastasia. 

But more complications arise with a love blooming between Anastaisa and Ivan. Is he to let go of her or stay truth to the belief that they will have their happy ending? 

As we see a girl find her destiny in these tumultous times, we feel for her with all of our heart. We see her find out her identity, slowly embrace herself and learn to love with all of her heart!

Thank you, Suzanne Weyn! Thank you for handing us such a beautiful story and for satisfying my insatiable thirst for a happy-ending to the historically tragic Anastasia. 

If you are looking for a historical fairytale that will warm your heart, check out The Diamond Secret for sure!

Click here for a movie transcript to the 1997 movie, Anastasia (for those of you who are interested)!

Source: Read while sitting crossed-leg on the scratchy carpet in the Library

Lots of love goes to all of you who regularly drop by this blog! Comments would be lovely (especially from a certain ZJ and WY: You know who you are MUAHAHA).



  1. Ingrid Bergman won an Oscar for her performance in anastiatia, the 1956 movie! :D I think that movie was nicer than the 1997 animated version

  2. Ohh i love the once upon a time series! :D actually I started reading these books because you recommended them to me in P5! :D

  3. A bit late, aren't we. Just stalking -- I mean checking out your blog, and wow ... my name is there. Anastasia, aye? I have high expectations for this book, seeing as my name is on it. Amazing review, by the way! (:

    -Anastasia, Demitra, & Persephone


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