The first of a trilogy based on the exploits of John Hughes, who founded a city in Russia in the 1800s In 1869, Tsar Alexander II decided to drag Russia into the industrial age. He began by inviting Welsh businessman John Hughes to build an ironworks. A charismatic visionary, John persuaded influential people to invest in his venture, while concealing his greatest secret - he couldn't even write his own name. John recruited adventurers prepared to sacrifice everything to ensure the success of Hughesovka (Donetsk, Ukraine). Young Welsh men and women fleeing violence in their home country; Jews who have accepted Russian anti-Semitism as their fate and Russian aristocrats, all see a future in the Welshman's plans. In a place where murderers, whores, and illicit love affairs flourish, The Tsar's Dragon is their story of a new beginning in Hughesovka, a town of opportunity.
Catrin Collier is Wales' most prolific and well-known author of historical, romantic fictions. The daughter of a Prussian refugee mother and Welsh father, she grew up in Pontypridd. She has written 19 novels for Orion. Her first historical novel Hearts of Gold, was filmed as a mini-series by the BBC in 2003. She lives with her family on the Gower Peninsula, near Swansea. She also writes crime fiction under the pen name Katherine John.