SHORTLISTED FOR THE AUTHOR’S CLUB BEST FIRST NOVEL AWARDSHORTLISTED FOR THE HWA DEBUT CROWN ‘It makes Game of Thrones look like a nursery rhyme’ – Daisy Goodwin Lover, mother, murderer, Tsarina1699: Illegitimate, destitute and strikingly beautiful, Marta is sold into labour at the age of fifteen – where in desperation she commits a crime that will force her to go on the run. Cheating death at every turn, she is swept into the current of the Great Northern War. Working as a washer woman at a battle camp, she catches the eye of none other than Peter the Great. Passionate and iron-willed, Peter has a vision for transforming the traditionalist Tsardom of Russia into a modern, Western empire. With nothing but wits, courage and formidable ambition, Marta will rise from nothing to become Catherine I of Russia. But it comes at a steep price and is tied to the destiny of Russia itself.