Personal Background & Questions: After joining the Eastern Orthodox Christian Church in the mid 1990's & marring a Russian wife in the late 1990's, I needed to read a good informative biography about the last Czar Nicholas Romanov II to find out what historically happen to answer a few questions:
Was Moscow the third Rome (a Christian Empire guarding the Christian Orthodox Faith: Rome fell in 410, Constantinople in 1453, & Moscow in 1917)? How did the Russian Empire fall? Is a Christian Theocracy still possible?
Is Czar Nicholas II a Saint, was he an untrained prince turned single focus Tsar, or "Bloodly" Nicholas?
Who was Rusputin? Was he a hedonistic heretic, a persecuted Staret, or a doubled face sinner/saint?
Commentary: After finishing "Nicholas and Alexandra" by Robert K. Massie, most of these questions go unanswered, but at least my options are clarified. The book is very well written for easy reading, almost too well written...in some areas it reads like a novel: over detaining certain information that may not be historical fact. This Novel-ling of history deals mostly with the main characters: what they wear, what facial features or expressions they had. The words that may or may not of been spoken are colored with emotion which adds to the story, but is it history?
Lets look at historical biographies this way:
First, you have a biography that is a history book. It lists just the facts; this can be rather boring to read.
Second, there are books like "Nicholas and Alexandra" that add a little favor to soften the read, or to act out the history.
Third, there are books like "I Claudius" by Robert Graves that are fictional autobiographies: fictional writings with historical facts intertwined.
Only you the reader know what type of books you may enjoy, or what you really what from a book. If you want to read a good story & get some history, then this may fit your fancy.