Two WWI soldiers; one German, one Russian and their serendipitous meeting during maneuvers in the beautiful but dangerous winter storms in the Carpathian Mountains. In a series of poignant flashbacks and memories, this tale brings out the depth of character, the changes one endures, the challenging of one’s beliefs under the duress of war and duty. Well crafted and entertaining, Sergei & Hans shows forth the human element midst the dehumanizing machine like precision of armies at war. The author brings the reader along so as to experience the grandeur of the Carpathians while at the same time the utter hopelessness and despair of a POW longing only to be back home.
Triumph of a Tsar is an alternate historical rendering of the Russian Revolution in which the Romanovs survive and remain in power. The young Prince Alexei becomes Tsar and faces many challenges as he cements his control over Russia against seeming impossible odds. Not only does he have to prove he is capable of ruling, he has to survive assassination attempts, and his inherited hemophilia. The author seamlessly weaves the history of post-WW1 into the fabric of her fictional what if. The reader is taken on a roller coaster ride through the turmoil of the times, the economic collapse of the late 20’s; the rise of Hitler’s Nazi Party in Germany; the continuing threat from the determined Communists. It is a heady mix of true history and a very plausible alternative. The author also provides the reader with an in depth look at the intricate and widespread influence of family among the Romanovs and their relatives. This proves to be a great source of strength to the young Alexei and a troublesome burden come WW2. An entertaining, and very enjoyable example of history looked at from the ‘what if’ perspective. 4 Stars
Note: Historical Fiction Reviews received a copy of Triumph of a Tsar in exchange for an honest review.
About the Author
“Triumph of a Tsar” is Tamar’s second novel. She has a history of writing about the Romanovs. Her first book, the nonfiction biography entitled “The Russian Riddle,” was the first biography of Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich. In addition, two of her short stories about the Grand Duke Konstantin Konstantinovich and his sons have been published: “Rumors of War” was published in The Copperfield Review in 2017 and “Before the Fire” was published in The Helix in 2018.
Tamar’s other works are not about the Romanovs. Her first novel, “The Last Battle,” was published in 2017. Her short story “Dark Night, Bright Sky,” was published in The Sandy River Review in 2018.
A meticulously researched tale of WW1, The Great War Won is a page turning look at the year 1918 and the behind the scenes machinations of the various powers attempting to end the war. The tale is told mainly through the eyes of a German Intelligence Officer, General Von Treptow, though not exclusively as Britain’s Minister of Munitions, Churchill, and the newly arrived American commander, General Black Jack Pershing are also part of the narrative. The characters are a joy to read; from those in the military to the many civilians involved in the action and suspense. Fast paced action, witty repartee and a historical perspective that delves into the collapse of Russia and the rise of the many Socialist/Bolshevik factions seeking to destroy the world order makes for not only an entertaining read, but an informative one as well. While the plots, subplots, and various twists and turns thereof kept this reader enthralled, I was also taken by the flashbacks to points earlier in the War – the Churchill encounter during The Battle of the Somme is but one fine example of background character development utilized by the author.
I didn’t know what to expect when I was approached to read and review this story (the first of a trilogy). WW1 hasn’t typically been an era I usually read about, but Mr Loyd has reeled me in. I will definitely be reading the remaining two book in the series. 4.7 Stars