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Tsarina: Guest Post by J. Nelle Patrick

Thursday, March 6, 2014

The Constellation Egg

In the last post, I told you guys about Faberge eggs. In this post, I want to talk about the egg thats at the very center of TSARINA.

Its the Constellation Egg!

Obviously, I made the magic parts up for TSARINA. But  the Constellation Egg itself is real. The Constellation Egg was the very last Faberge egg that Tsar Nicholas commissioned the Faberge company to make as a gift for his wife, the Tsarina. Unfortunately, Nicholas never got to give the Constellation Egg to his wife the revolution happened, the Romanov family was taken into custody, and eventually, they were executed.

I used the Constellation Egg for TSARINA in part because it was the very last Faberge Egg the Romanovs commissioned but also because of the design itself. The egg is basically Alexei themed. Its made of cobalt blue glass; embedded in the glass are diamonds meant to represent stars, set in the shape of the Leo constellation Alexeis zodiac sign. Inside the egg is a clock mechanism, and the whole thing is set on quartz carved to look like clouds.

So, where is the Constellation Egg now?

For a long time, it was one of the missing eggs no one knew what ever happened to is, since keeping track of fancy jeweled eggs wasnt really anyones priority during the revolution. Then, in 2001, a mineral museum in Moscow found what they believed to be the unfinished egg in their archives:

And everyone was likeyay! Constellation egg! They found it!

But then, in about 2004, a Russian billionaire revealed that he had the finished Faberge egg and claimed the thing the mineral museum found was just some sort of light fixture the Faberge egg made. The billionaire also had the second-to-last Faberge egg ever, the Karelian Birch egg, soall signs seem to point to this egg being the real deal. The Russian authorities say neither of the eggs is real, but billionaire-guy also has the invoices from Faberge to Tsar Nicholas, the original drawings

If you ask me? Billionaire man has the real egg.

By the way— because the Constellation Egg isn’t as egg shaped as we wanted for the cover (we wanted it to be really clear Natalya was holding a Faberge egg!), I suggested that the cover designers at Razorbill use another egg, called the Tsarevich Egg, which was also Alexei themed and a bit more traditionally egg-shaped:


TSARINA Synopsis:

Imperial Russia swirls with rebellion.
The Reds are gaining ground, and the loyal Whites struggle to hold Saint Petersburg. But Natalya isn’t afraid. Wrapped in fur and tucked inside her lavish home, she feels safe. Alexei Romanov, heir to the Russian throne and her first love, has told her a secret: Hidden within the Winter Palace lies a Faberge Egg enchanted by the mystic Rasputin. With it, the Romanovs will never fall from power. The Reds will never take the country. And one day, Alexei will ascend the throne and Natalya will be beside him— the tsarina of Russia.
But when the Reds raid the Winter Palace, the egg vanishes and the Romanovs are captured. Natalya must find the egg to save Alexei, her way of life, and her royal future. To do so, she’s forced to ally herself with the enemy— a young Red named Leo who wants the egg for his own purposes. But as they brave a war-battered landscape of snow and magic, Natalya realizes that the world isn’t as simple as it seemed back in Saint Petersburg. Nothing– not friends, not politics, and not love– are as clear as Red and White.

About J. Nelle Patrick:
J. Nelle Patrick is the pseduonym for twenty-nine year old Jackson Pearce. She lives in Atlanta, Georgia, with a slightly cross-eyed cat and a lot of secondhand furniture. She graduated from the University of Georgia with a degree in English and a minor in Philosophy. She auditioned for the circus once, but didn’t make it; other jobs she’s had include obituaries writer, biker bar waitress, and receptionist. She currently coaches a winterguard at a local high school.
Jackson began writing when she got angry that the school librarian couldn’t tell her of a book that contained a smart girl, horses, baby animals, and magic. Her solution was to write the book herself when she was twelve. Her parents thought it was cute at first, but have grown steadily more concerned for her ever since.
Jackson is also the author of a series of retold fairytales.

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