Before she can become the greatest empress in history, 15-year-old Sophia will have to survive her social-climbing mother's quest to put her on the throne of Russia at any cost. Imperial Court holds dangers like nothing Sophia has ever faced before. In the heart of St. Petersburg, surviving means navigating the political, romantic, and religious demands of the bitter Empress Elizabeth and her handsome but sadistic nephew, Peter.
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Sophie - now Catherine, Grand Duchess of Russia - had a tough first year at Imperial Court. Married at 16 to Grand Duke Peter, heir to the throne, and settled in their own palace, things start to look up. As a new day dawns, Catherine thinks only of securing her future, and the future of their country, during one of the greatest political upheavals of her time.
If her time at court has taught Catherine anything, it's that there is no room for weakness in Imperial Russia. With the empress' health failing and rumors of a change in the line of succession, her place in the royal line is once more in jeopardy. Tormented by her sadistic husband and his venomous mistress, Catherine must once more walk the fine line between pleasure and politics - between scandal and survival.