10 MARCH 1906, Page 26

In the Rands of the Czar. By Garrett Mill. (W.

Blackwood and Sons. 6s.)—It is more than a little difficult to accept the Czar of All the Russias as the hero of a modern novel. Although the date of the book is in the future, and the present Czar abdicates about half-way through the story, the gentleman who begins his career as Lord Varleigh and ends it as Alexander IV. does not really convince the reader that he is anything but a puppet, and an unnatural puppet at that. The style of the book is elusive to a point which makes it often difficult to understand what the author is driving at; and, there being no explanations whatever, it is very difficult to pick up the thread of the story. There is a certain cleverness about the novel, and it must be called readable ; but credible it is not, and therefore it misses whatever effect it would otherwise have had.