Author: Reni Stankova
Publication Date: July 1st 2019
Genre: Historical Fiction
Content Warnings: non-descriptive rape scene, an implicit sex scene between consenting adults, and heavy violence.
Sirma has spent the first 18 years of her life as a happy and hardworking Slavic girl in her quiet mountain village. Until she loses her two best friends to a gang of outlaws. The village elders don’t do anything, because they fear the wrath of Hamza Bei – the head outlaw in the area.
Fed up with hiding and keeping silent, Sirma dresses up like a man and takes the lead of her own Haiduk gang dedicated to protecting the weak. She will stand face to face with Hamza Bei and end his tyranny once and for all. But the road she has chosen is long and full of hurdles. Will she survive living and fighting in the mountain? Will she keep her gang from becoming outlaws themselves? And will her comrades accept her once they find out she is a woman?
This is the life story of a real historical figure who took part in the Haiduk movement in Eastern Europe.
** I recieved a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review**
This book had a great concept that was wonderfully delivered. The beginning of the story gave a great introduction of Sirma’s character and the environment in which she had grown up in, which shaped her character. The development of her charcter was also handle well in the book and the way the events of the book were done, made this character development quite believable. The motivations of the characters were believable and easy to root for.
The world-building was quite interesting and it had me considering reading about the actual Haiduk movement in Eastern Europe.
I enjoyed the different relationships and dynamics in this book. The different types of friendships in the gang, the brief glimps of friendship that we got of Sirma’s friendgroup before the event that cause her to join a Haiduk group, the family relationships and the romantic relationships were all done well. Their growth felt organic.
One other enjoyable aspect was the fight/action scenes that took place in this book. While they weren’t extremely detailed or long, they still had my adrenaline rasising along side the characters.
That’s All I Got, Danielle.