The Lost Romanov Icon and the Enigma of Anastasia is a historical novel whose characters are entangled in an amazing series of events brilliantly tied together to unveil facts and documents never before revealed about the true fate of Anastasia and her family in 1918.
The plot brings to the attention two mysteries together: The real fate of the youngest daughter of the last Russian Czar, still considered one of the most talked about mysteries of all times, (despite of the identification by the Russian government of some bones unburied in Ekaterinburg 1991, and the still “unbelievable” results of DNA tests performed in England in 1994), as well as the whereabouts of an invaluable holy icon that belonged to the Romanov family, since the times of Catherine the Great, and was given to Anna Anderson/Anastasia Manahan in 1946, as a lifetime loan, when she became the godmother of the only male heir of the Duke and Duchess of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach, two prominent and respected members of a German ducal family.
Carlos Mundy and Marie Stravlo, both writers, TV producers and Romanov scholars, with a deep knowledge of the Anastasia saga, present a fluid narrative that captures the attention of readers taking them to several countries (Spain, England, Morocco, Costa Rica, The Vatican, Russia, Italy, Germany and Poland) where hidden information and documents related to the fate of the last Russian Imperial Family have been kept during more than sixty years,
Rodney Mundy, the main character, not only was Carlos’ father, but also an MI6 agent in his real life. According to the plot, after being retired in Spain for several years, and due to strange circumstances occurring around him, Rodney chooses to investigate the story of Anna Anderson/Anastasia Manahan, the woman that surfaced in Berlin in 1920, claiming to be the youngest daughter of the Tsar that had survived the massacre of her family in July 1918. He discovers that an orthodox icon, apparently containing a hidden document with explosive information about the fate of the Romanovs, disappeared in 1984 from the Manahan’s home in Charlottesville, Virginia, by the time of the death of Anastasia.
He decides to go back to his previous life as a spy with the help of former colleagues in secret services and some members of a spiritual Secret Society, trying to find the icon and the truth. Rodney embarks in a dangerous mission and during his journey he receives numerous revelations about historical facts that have been hidden to cover up one of the greatest secret service operations in history, and finds not only the proof that Anna Anderson was Anastasia, but also the documents that may attest that other members of the Imperial Family survived and lived under false identities in different countries around the world, with the protection and complicity of several governments, royal houses and The Vatican.
The authors wisely and carefully handpicked the other characters, and infused them with specific emotions, personalities, feelings, motives and secret agendas, since they play important roles that represent the past, the present and will subtly suggest the future of the saga.
With a balanced mix of facts and fiction, Carlos Mundy and Marie Stravlo manage to develop a thrilling sequence of events taking place in 1994, the unforgettable year when several people got involved in a legal battle in Charlottesville, Virginia, to gain access to a tissue sample of Anna Anderson/Anastasia Manahan, kept at the Martha Jefferson Hospital in Charlottesville, Virginia, to be tested to obtain her DNA. Finally, the sample was taken to London for the DNA analysis, and the results announced on October 5th, 1994 discredited her claim of being the historical Anastasia. But despite the scientific results, still today, thousands of Anna Anderson’s supporters all over the world believe in her authenticity. Many questions about the true fate of the last ruling family of Russia remain unanswered, including why the Russian Orthodox Church does not recognize the bones exhumed in 1991 as those of Nicholas II‘s family.
The lost Romanov Icon contains a detailed description of several events of the life of Anna Anderson/Anastasia Manahan that were never mentioned before. It is definitely an intriguing novel that combines history with legend, facts with fiction, and suggests royal and state secrets kept since 1918 by powerful people around the world, that probably will result in a new controversy around one of the bloodiest episodes of history: the fate of the last Imperial Family of Russia.
No doubt this novel will add more mystery to an almost 100 year’s enigma that will outlive all of us.