Vivid Publishing - Book Publishers Australia

Friends of the Tsar

Jon de Graaf

Miracles from Petrograd to the Outback

1917—The Russian Revolution. Danger and chaos abound, and the aristocratic Zuckschwerdt and Orloff families are desperate to escape to safety. Enter Blue, an Australian cattle-breeder with a big heart. Blessed by a heap of miracles from the Outback and beyond, he shares his gripping adventures with the snowed-in families. Blue has survived everything from bushfires to crocodile attacks.
With wolves and winter nipping at their heels, the Zuckschwerdts prepare to depart for the lucky country. Plunged into hostilities and espionage in Petrograd, they make a break for the high seas, only to find themselves in a deadly game of bluff with a German U-boat skipper.
Blue is in a predicament of his own when three of the Orloff daughters fall for his red earth charms. Will he find true love with one of them? And will his Aussie anecdotes help the family understand that awareness and preparation can spell the difference between life and death? As miracles begin to unfold, the Russian refugees discover the power of faith.
Inspired by Jon de Graaff’s personal experience and his grandparents' family history, ‘Friends of the Tsar’ is a thrilling tale. Spiked with humorous twists, tragic turns, perilous encounters, and life-saving lessons of survival, it offers spiritual insights into forgiveness and unconventional love.

What They Say

Reviewed by Joel R. Dennstedt for Readers' Favorite

 Friends of the Tsar: Miracles from Petrograd to the Outback – a collection of short stories by Jon de Graaff - is built upon a great premise. Ancestral stories related by the Australian descendant of an old Russian family once close friends of the Tsar. The storyteller is said to be a man with personal experience regarding the events and places mentioned herein, and of intense historical interest to many. The stories themselves are told with great vividness, momentum, and presence, and they all are based on quite compelling plots. They are raw and down to earth, conveying a most accurate sense of family and of country life, as well as the sudden, dangerous turns that life can take. The powerful interest of the stories does tend to keep the reader enthralled. Read full review here. review: 4 out of 4 stars.

The aristocratic family, the Zuckschwerdts, lived in an estate near Petrograd before the Russian revolution of 1917. The baron, Alexander Zuckschwerdt, and his family were close friends with the Tsar and his family. But the Tsar was harsh and high-handed on the peasants he ruled. This resulted from his war with Japan, which led to starvation and antipathy amongst the poor Russian people. Alexander and his family made arrangements to flee the country. But will they be able to escape safely? What was life like in Russia during those agonizing times? Will life in their intended destination, Australia, be different? Read Friends of the Tsar by Jon de Graaf to find out. Read full review here.


About the Author

Jon de Graaff is a Brisbane-born man who suffered paraplegia twice in ten years from an army injury. Now living in Sydney, he loves camping, fishing, and adventuring in the great outdoors. With real life experience of many a miracle, Jon delivers hard-won wisdom on how to survive the dangers of the natural world. De Graaff was the co-winner of the 2003 Warwick Art Prize. ‘Friends of the Tsar’ is his first novel.






Friends of the Tsar - Miracles from Petrograd to the Outback by Jon de Graaf
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ISBN: 978-1-922565-29-7 (new edition)
Format: Paperback 203mm x 133mm
Extent: 276 pages
RRP: $24.95
Publisher: Vivid Publishing
Category: Fiction -- Historical
Distribution: Contact Vivid