Ivan the Terrible by Robert Payne and Nikita Romanoff

Title: Ivan the Terrible
Authors: Robert Payne, Nikita Romanoff
Published by Cooper Square Publishers
Paperback Edition
Number of Pages: 520
Backup Reference: Amazon
Theme: Russian History

“Terrible” doesn’t begin to describe the evil behind this Tsar. The level of violence and bloodshed is overwhelming in its intensity and cruelness. All Tsars believed to be chosen by God, therefore, rules didn’t apply to them on any level, but Ivan’s extravagances and thirst for blood impregnated his Tsardom like no other.


The contrast with Ivan’s religiosity is nothing short of jaw dropping. More than a Tsar, Ivan was an insane serial killer immortalized in the annals of Russian history.

One thing memorable about his reign is the construction of Saint Basil’s Cathedral.


  • Medium Paced.
  • Intriguing at times.


  • Christian Moulton’s (Amazon’s review) exposes his concerns about the inaccuracy of certain aspects of this biography. In particular, religious practices. That alone makes me wonder about the rest of the book.
  • Although famous for killing his son, this biography barely mentions the fact.

3 thoughts on “Ivan the Terrible by Robert Payne and Nikita Romanoff

  1. Hi, thanks for the blog following. Looking at some of your reviews and your interest in historical figures you might be interested to read Galileo’s Daughter. The story gives us insights in Galileo’s life through his correspondence with his daughter. That book and How the Irish Saved Civilization are among two of my favorite historical non-fiction books.

    • First time I hear about those two! Noted. Thank you, very much! Galileo’s sounds, especially, exciting! I have several books in line… I’m about to start reading “Killing Lincoln: The Shocking Assassination That Changed America Forever”. (Winks) 😀

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