6 Best Russian Novels [2023]

If you love good literature, you really can’t go past a good Russian novel. Not only do Russian authors tell fabulous tales of fictional drama, there is a poetic elegance to their writing that American and English authors don’t have.

Russian novels contain some of the most powerful and emotional stories ever told. Spending a series of nights or afternoons enjoying one of the great Russian novels is a thrill of a lifetime that everyone should enjoy at least once.

Here we take a look at the six best Russian novels and give a detailed review of our favorite three.

Things to Consider

When you’re considering a Russian novel for your next reading project, there are plenty to choose from.

Fiction books have seen a boom in recent years with so many new authors breaking into the market, yet there is one important factor to keep in mind when choosing between options:

Hard vs. Soft Cover. This may seem trivial but rest assured that when you’re lying in bed reading a book you’ll want a soft cover to snuggle up with. Hardcover books are generally more comfortable for sitting upright in a reading chair or at a desk, so decide when and how you plan to read your book before you purchase.

Top 6 Russian Novels Chart

Picture Name Storyline Price Rating (1-5)
1. A Gentleman in Moscow: A Novel A gentleman in a Russian hotel filled with twists and secrets $$$
  • 4.7/5
2. City of Thieves: A Novel During Nazi Germany two thieves fight for freedom $
  • 4.6/5
3. Russian Winter: A Novel A compelling puzzle that entangles a love story. $$
  • 4.4/5
4. The Mathematician’s Shiva: A Novel An unsolved math puzzle creates chaos for those left behind $$
  • 4.2/5
5. The Kitchen Boy: A Novel of the Last Tsar Unravelling the secrets of a mysterious and brutal murder $$
  • 4.2/5
6. The Winter Palace: A Novel of Catherine the Great A secret alliance and an improbable rise to power. $$
  • 4.0/5

Buying Information

Buying the best Russian novels is rather difficult since there are so many options, so in order to help you choose, here are a few pointers to help you make your decision easier:

  • Subject. Russian novels are highly emotional and dramatic reads. You’ll want to make your choice based on whether you’d like to read romance, war or rising up against all odds type stories.
  • Pages. There is something to be said about the length of a book. Having a great story spread out over far too many pages takes away from its effect. We found the perfect medium between too short and too long is about 400-600 pages.

Top 3 Best Russian Novels Reviews

1. A Gentleman in Moscow: A Novel

A Gentleman in Moscow: A Novel

If you’re looking for a book that will leave you speechless after you finish it, then this is perfect for you. Not only will you have a book hangover for days but you’ll also be so emotionally fulfilled by the ending of this beautiful story.

The novel spans a long period of 30+ years, and has taken the place in so many readers’ hearts as having the best ending ever written. There are few of us that haven’t thought at least once in our lives about what it would be like to live in a hotel.

Indeed, it is a luxurious idea to entertain and one complimented by a powerful main character to whom every reader feels strongly drawn. Count Rostov is from an era long gone, yet when reading about his story we can’t help but feel connected to him.

This story is rich in details and an absolute joy to read. You’ll be fully immersed in the story that you won’t ever want to put it down.

2. City of Thieves: A Novel

City of Thieves: A Novel

Whoever thought a story based around the siege of Leningrad in WWII could be so darkly humorous. The author has artfully woven together a diverse and entertaining set of characters, two of which have been given an impossible mission.

The two prisoners are tasked with finding a dozen eggs in exchange for their lives. They must set out on an unbearable and highly unpredictable and entertaining adventure to free themselves from death. Leningrad at the time is gripped with inconceivable famine, which makes a seemingly easy task rather difficult.

David Benioff, the author, has created an incredibly lifelike impression of what life would have been like in Leningrad during WWII. The interactions and journey that the two main characters take throughout the book really carry the story.

3. Russian Winter: A Novel

Russian Winter: A Novel

This is one of the most beautifully written books that we have ever had the pleasure of reviewing. The story is filled with deep descriptions and meaning without being over the top. We enjoyed and loved the language used throughout this novel making it one of the best Russian novels in our list.