Count Pyotr "Petya" Ilyich Rostov (1796-1812) is a character in Leo Tolstoy's novel War and Peace. The youngest member of the Rostov family, Petya is initially a minor character, however towards the end of the novel Petya's importance to the plot increases as he joins the Russian army in their defence against the French invasion of 1812. In the latter stages of the book Petya takes part in an attack on a French corps and is fatally wounded. This scene, along with the death of Prince Andrei Nikolaeitch Bolkonski is one of the most famous (and shocking) in classical Russian literature.
George R. Clay asserts that Tolstoy's "choice of fifteen-year old Petya Rostov as the one through whom to dramatize Moscow's response to the arrival of Emperor Alexander is masterful for the number of effects it accomplishes simultaneously."George R. Clay, Tolstoy's Phoenix: From Method to Meaning in War and Peace (Northwestern University Press, 1998), .