Welcome back to Weekend Writing Warriors, a weekly Sunday hop where writers share 8 sentences from a book or WIP. This week’s snippet comes right after last week’s, as the Dowager Empress has come to speak with her almost-18-year-old grandson about when he’s going to officially become the Tsar and receive full power from Grand Duke Mikhail, the Regent for the last four years. She’s completely stunned when Aleksey tells her he’s going to the Sorbonne and doesn’t want to immediately get the throne or marry just because he’s of legal age. He tries to remind her of how many problems his father had due to his youth and inexperience, but she thinks much differently.
Ever since he and his sisters were rescued and returned home, Aleksey has discovered just what a lot of people, including immediate family members, really thought of his mother. His grandmother is no exception in her dislike of the late Tsaritsa, and many of these people have become rather emboldened in speaking their mind now that the subject of their acrimony is no longer around to defend herself. Since her husband isn’t around to defend her either, they’re doubly-emboldened. It’s not my intention to portray them as bad people, but there’s no tiptoeing around the fact that Alix was extremely unpopular and hated.
The Dowager Empress struggled to regain her composure at being contradicted so unexpectedly, even if he hadn’t done it disrespectfully. “Youth was but one factor in what led to your dear father’s downfall. He refused to take any advice from his numerous cousins and uncles willing to help him, and he let his even-more inexperienced wife have much more power than she merited, which is to say, any at all. Yes, no one was expecting your grandfather to fall sick and die before fifty, but after the worst had already happened, the situation could’ve been mitigated with a normal adjustment period. Your father’s main problem was that he refused to let anyone else tell him what to do, and thought everyone would just automatically do as he said, just because he was the Tsar. Respect from your subjects must be earned, and based on solid reasons. And your grandfather and I had such a nice list of potential brides for him. All this disaster could’ve been averted had he chosen a nice girl from another kingdom or principality, who knew how to behave properly at court and didn’t trust her only son’s precarious health to the hands of a pervert.”