In The Washington Post, Francine Prose called Marra “a gifted writer with the energy and the ambition to explore the lives of characters whose experiences and whose psyches might seem, until we read his work, so distant from our own.” NPR featured an interview with Marra, as well as an exclusive excerpt of Tsar. Newsday also excerpted the collection, and in its review called Tsar “dazzling” and “ingenious,” writing, “This ambitious work of fiction, by a 31-year-old American writer, draws from the well of Tolstoy, Gogol and other great works of Russian literature.”