Catherine - Sigrid Weidenweber Anyone who visits my blog will immediately know of my admiration for Catherine the Great because of her presence in my slideshow of favorite historical figures at the top of my blog. That being said, I really have not read in depth about Catherine. I know the basics about her achievements and her life, but I have never delved particularly deeply. Then, along comes this wonderful historical novel by Ms. Weidenweber, that, although it is fiction, is so thoroughly researched and informative, I have learned so much more about Catherine. Now, all I want to do is read more about her in the non-fiction arena. Again, historical fiction has fulfilled its most important task, in my opinion...sparking a further interest in a historical topic or figure.The author has written a long book--well, it showed 853 pages on my Sony Reader--which is why I am so late with this review. It's not a light summer read. It takes some time and attention, but it is well worth it. I'm honestly going to read it again when I'm not in such a time crunch so I can truly appreciate its merits...and believe me, it has many merits. Catherine is the first book in the trilogy, The Volga River Flows Forever, the second and third books being The Volga Germans and From Gulag to Freedom. I really can't wait to read the rest of the series.Original post at: