Current Fiction

A Daughter of the Nobility, by Natasha Borovsky. New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston. 500 pp. $16.95. This engrossing historical novel, written by an author whose family was involved in the actual events depicted, tells the story of a Russian princess, Tatyana Silomirskaya. She is the daughter of an adviser to Czar Nicholas II and a playmate of the czar's two elder daughters. During the cataclysmic events of the time -- the Great War, the Revolution, the Bolshevik seizure of power, the Civil War -- Tatyana sees her familiar world collapse, loses the people she loves most, and tries to realize her dream

of becoming a doctor. This fascinating novel paints a vivid picture of a class and a way of life doomed to destruction. Texas, by James A. Michener. New York: Random House. 1,096 pp. $21.95.

Fans of James A. Michener, the state of Texas, and epic, blockbuster novels will love ``Texas,'' a blend of fact and fiction that covers Texas history from the arrival of the Spanish explorers in 1527 to the present. Although the narrative is tied together by the half-dozen fictional families that inhabit ``Texas,'' the enormous time span, the large doses of history, and the chapter-by-chapter interruptions of a modern-day fictional task force preparing a state history make for choppy reading. Some of t he dramatic incidents -- the defense of the Alamo, the story of a young girl captured by Indians -- are engrossing vignettes that end too soon. Depths of Glory: A Biographical Novel of Camille Pissarro, by Irving Stone. Garden City, New York: Doubleday & Co. 636 pp. $17.95.

From the author of ``Lust for Life'' and ``The Agony and the Ecstasy,'' famous novels about Van Gogh and Michelangelo, respectively, here is a similar fictionalized treatment of the life and times of French Impressionist painter Camille Pissarro (1830-1903), who was a contemporary of Renoir, Degas, Manet, Monet, and C'ezanne. The novel begins in 1855, when Pissarro arrives in France from his childhood home on the island of St. Thomas, and ends with the Great Centennial Exhibition of 1900, three years be fore his death. This novel captures the personality of the painter and the spirit of the times. The Set-Up, by Vladimir Volkoff. Translated from the French by Alan Sheridan. New York: Arbor House. 397 pp. $16.95.

Don't read this novel expecting to enjoy a typical espionage thriller. This chilling and sometimes amusing book, subtitled ``A Novel of Disinformation,'' is almost a textbook on the subject. Alexsandr Psar, born in Paris of Russian parents, is recruited by the KGB in Paris and set up as an influential literary agent in preparation for a central role he will play in a major Soviet disinformation plot directed against France. This novel, written by a son of Russian 'emigr'es, won the Grand Prix du Roman of the Acad'emie Franaise in 1982.

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