Friday, 14 July 2017

The Boy Who Wanted Wings by James Conroyd Martin



Amazon UK £2.35 £23.05
Amazon US $2.99 $26.80
Amazon CA $33.52

Military 
17th Century
Europe

This is a very well researched and authentic-feeling novel set in 17th century Europe. A unique perspective comes via the hero, Aleksy, being of Tartar descent but having been raised with a Polish family. As the Turks lay siege to Vienna (culminating in the battle of September 11 1683) he finds his military and amorous wings. 

The author impressed me with the detailed depiction of warfare, military operations and equipment, class, culture and societal norms. While such details can be distracting in other novels, here they were spot on and served their purpose well. I learned a lot about the era, about Poland, the Tartars and the siege of Vienna.


The characters with their unique situations, individual ambitions and the obstacles they need to overcome provide a solid base for the plot: Love at first sight, lovers against the obstacles, political turmoil and war - it sounds like a stereotype but all feels real and comes together perfectly in a gripping, educational and enjoyable novel. 

© Christoph Fischer

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