A historical novel that mixes history, superstition and faith with fantasy during times of war in the 1700s.
It is 1761. Prussia is at war with Russia and Austria. As the Russian army occupies East Prussia, King Frederick the Great and his men fight hard to win back their homeland.
In Ludwigshain, a Junker estate in East Prussia, Countess Marion von Adler celebrates an exceptional harvest. But this is soon requisitioned by Russian troops. When Marion tries to stop them, a Russian Captain strikes her. His Lieutenant, Ian Fermor, defends Marion’s honour, but is stabbed for his insubordination. Abandoned by the Russians, Fermor becomes a divisive figure on the estate.
Close to death, Fermor dreams of the Adler, a numinous eagle entity, whose territory extends across the lands of Northern Europe and which is mysteriously connected to the Enlightenment. What happens next will change the course of human history…
It has to be acknowledged that Justin has a fantastic way with words. The shorter chapters help with the story flow and each small chapter packs in so much information and description that it is easy to get swept away in this book.
Marion has so much to deal with throughout the book, that I really felt for her!
A mixture of the historical and fantastical ensue once Ian Fermor is abandoned in the community for standing up to a Russian general, and the plot and subplots weave in and out of each other in a perfect way. With the shorter chapters, it was easier to stay on track and I didn’t feel like I was getting lost.
The characters are a perfect combination and I loved seeing everyone develop throughout and I was sad when the book ended as I wanted to keep reading about them!
A wonderful look at Europe during the Enlightenment and the dawn of a new age in technology and faith.
Thank you to Zooloo’s book Tours and Justin Newland for a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.