Read against a crimson sky by James Conroyd Martin Online

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Alternate cover edition for 9781499273601A magnificent epic, AGAINST A CRIMSON SKY is an unforgettable tale of love, valor, and the enduring strength of the human spirit, set against the backdrop of war-torn Poland at the cusp of the nineteenth century. The year is 1794, and the beautiful and resilient Countess Anna Maria Berezowska has narrowly escaped death amidst the chAlternate cover edition for 9781499273601A magnificent epic, AGAINST A CRIMSON SKY is an unforgettable tale of love, valor, and the enduring strength of the human spirit, set against the backdrop of war-torn Poland at the cusp of the nineteenth century. The year is 1794, and the beautiful and resilient Countess Anna Maria Berezowska has narrowly escaped death amidst the chaos caused by the violent dissolution of Poland. Anna is soon reunited with her longtime love, Lord Jan Stelnicki, and the two lovers marry even as their beloved country is ripped apart. As the couple struggles to raise a family in the face of an uncertain future, Anna's capricious cousin Zofia returns with a surprise of her own. Although Zofia's past schemes still resonate, Anna's doubts turn to fear as Jan's patriotism draws him to the battlefield. Offering new hope for a conquered Poland, Napoléon Bonaparte arrives in all of his pomp and glory. With the aid of new Polish legions~Anna's friends and family among them~Napoléon battles his way across Europe an effort that culminates in the march into Moscow and the subsequent doomed winter retreat. Against this backdrop, Anna and Jan valiantly fight to hold on to a tenuous happiness, their country, and their very lives....

Title : against a crimson sky
Author :
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ISBN : 22033489
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 507 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

against a crimson sky Reviews

  • Rita Shire
    2018-10-22 13:49

    Against a Crimson Sky is James Conroyd Martin's sequel to Push Not the River telling Anna's story of Poland during the Napoleonic Era. It is a beautiful story of family, honor, pride,militarism, nationalism, and patriotism. It is the story of Poland and it's people being continuously carved, traded, and demised by the Austrian, Prussian, Russian, and now,the French Empires. All the time the Polish people's sense of their true identity remaining extremely strong. I am so very glad I read Martin's two books in sequence with no other books in between! It kept the events organized in my mind. I can't wait to read the third of the Poland trilogy, The Warsaw Conspiracy! This is the first trilogy I have read in sequence and back to back! It's that good! Kudos to James Conroyd Martin and his terrific story of Poland in this particular time period of it's magnificent history!

  • Anne
    2018-11-04 08:42

    This is the sequel to "Push not the River" which I absolutely loved. This one is just as good as Anna starts married life with Jan and they have two children. He has adopted her son Jan Michel. Then Napoleon begins his conquests and many Poles join with him in hopes that Poland may once again be a nation. Much heartache for Anna as Jan is gone for many years fighting and she has her own problems with a vicious man in her home town who has been threatening her and once again, cousin Zofia enters along with her problems. Anna's bravery as she deals with her husband being away for so long, and the trials of the people who have divided Poland and the hopes that she can somehow help regain Poland's boundaries, she works with local patriots. Another wonderful read by James Martin, highly recommended. There is a 3rd novel in the series.

  • Chris
    2018-10-17 08:47

    For anyone who enjoys Napoleonic history, this is a look at the events from the Polish perspective. This is a very enjoyable trilogy!

  • Cheryl Lachapelle
    2018-10-28 12:55

    Follow up to Push Not The River. I am of Polish descent so the story is interesting to me. I also love historical novels so I enjoy that part of the novel too.

  • Dawn Campbell
    2018-10-14 11:53

    Loved it. The last of the novel focuses mostly on the day to day struggles of the Stelniki brothers and their guardian Patel and contrasting for us again with the women at home battling worry and fear, caring for wounded while agonizing on the lack of news of their own family. And Anna and Zofia once again politicking to try and do what little they can to ease a friend caught in Napoleon's net of a love life and of course failed attempts to get back lost lands and estates. We are there for the catastrophic Napoleon blunder invading Russia so close to winter and with so little preparation. War and Peace gave us a Russian viewpoint and here we get the French side but through Polish eyes. In all its grit and suffering of war, especially it's aftermath of a retreating army freezing and starving to death. Yet strangely sparing us the fever and gore of pitched battle and instead the struggles of the 650,000 soldiers that mostly perished thanks to Napoleon's hubris and false promises which lead many a devoted Polish Patriot to bleed out his life on a frozen battlefield far from home for no cause at all except empty implied promises from a little arrogant Corsican with a gift for leadership and tactics but absolutely no head for long term strategy.Lovers of liberty and individual rights should weep at what was done to Poland. And at the way their courage and hope to see that liberty reborn they allowed that tyrant to use them and never see any true gain. Instead even the reluctant Duchy of Warsaw is destroyed and they find themselves deserted by the Gran Armée and Napoleon himself and instead the boots on their necks again as they are occupied all over again. To read it in a history book or watch a documentary doesn't bring it into your heart like a well written story. The author works magic here and the story must be told and understood lest we be doomed to repeat it but it doesn't make this a fun or happy tale.I am looking forward to the final book of the Trilogy and hoping for a happy ever after for Anna and Zofia, Jan, Pamela and the children and looking forward to Waterloo though it means Poland will continue in it's trodden state for almost a century. Persevere though and you will be rewarded .... Spoilers..............Anna braves it all again this time pregnant and beside her daughter. Bearing tragedy in losing her son with Jan and nearly losing her brave and beautiful son Jan Michal who did everything he could to save little brother and later does save his stepfather. And Zofia is finally growing up but I fear it's too little too late for her and Pawel... We must wait and see in the last book.

  • Danielle Urban
    2018-11-13 14:54

    Against A Crimson Sky by James Conroyd Martin is a stunning historical read. I loved it. I got to experience the Polish culture and the people of Poland. My grandmother is Polish so, reading this was even more exciting for me. War times are difficult and can bring much sadness. Hope, courage, love, and family life are strong themes inside this novel. A noble woman loses her son and husband to war. Pregnant again, she's hoping for a girl. Fate has a funny way of bringing a family together and tearing them apart. Intense, well-told, and engaging. I felt like I was inside the protagonist's shoes. Her life became my own the instant I opened the book. Adventure of a lifetime was waiting for me on the pages. Pages that moved me quickly through the conflict, emotions, and actions from the scenes. James Conroyd Martin brilliantly captured a people and their lives in his writing. Words that became three-dimensional once they were read. Uncertainty, lies ahead but the ending was beautiful. I was happy it ended the way it did. Felt right. Overall, I highly recommend Against A Crimson Sky to readers worldwide.

  • April
    2018-11-03 15:38

    Great love and patriotismI love historical novels. The history is enthralling all by itself. Adding fictional characters who you learn to care about makes the history seem more personal and real.Against a Crimson Sky is well written. The telling of the Napoleonic Wars is well done. The use of Jan, Jan Michael, Pawell and Tadek helps the reader feel the desperate conditions faced by Napoleon's troops as his defeat became inevitable. Anna proves herself to be a strong, loving and patriotic woman. Zofia becomes more than a selfish, money seeking, manipulative woman. The reader cries for the family and for the loss of Poland to the whim of more powerful governments surrounding her. The reader at least hopes Anna doesn't have to lose her husband and her brave sons.

  • Kristin Noreen
    2018-10-23 14:41

    I was predisposed to like the book going in, as I had read the first in the series already. I learned so much European history from this book! I was googling things as I went along, filling in more information to close the gaps left by my suburban education. This was a slow read, which is not a bad thing. The characters were rich, full, and believable. I was struck by the waste of war, the stupid loss of life. I understood the fight of the people to preserve their identity, but decimating populations seems a strange way to go about that. I loved Martin's afterword; it tied everything together and answered the questions I had about his process.

  • Betty Strohecker
    2018-10-21 13:41

    It is the year 1794 as Anna Maria Bereskowsa'a story continues in war torn Poland. Anna has faced tragedy, deprivation, and narrowly escaped death, but still she forges on in hopes that her nation will one day find peace. She is reunited with her longtime love, Jan Stelnicki, but his patriotism will see them separated again. Anna also must face the return of her cousin Zofia who has betrayed her in the past and will do anything to follow her own desires and insure her survival. Set amid true events of the time, Napoleon enters the playing field. Detailed descriptions of his miltary strategy and personal ambition is included.Another superb novel!

  • Patricia
    2018-11-06 08:42

    When I first received AGAINST A CRIMSON SKY, I didn't realized it was second in a trilogy. It turned out this book could be read as a stand alone book. I was thrilled when a started reading and couldn't put it down. The characters were strong, the settings magnificent, and I learned a bit of history along the way. This book deals with life in Poland during the Napoleonic Wars. This is the best historical fiction I've read in a while! I cannot wait to read the 1st and 3rd! I highly recommend this series!

  • Patrice Fischer
    2018-10-17 15:52

    Because I had enjoyed #1 & was on a long airplane ride coming back from a week in Eastern Europe with several days in Poland (our 2nd visit there), I decided to begin #2 in the series. Still a good historical series about Poland in the 1790's.I plan on reading #3 in 2018.

  • Stephen
    2018-10-24 13:45

    A little slow in the first two thirds but the last third was quite exciting. I found the author identified and highlighted two of the three characteristics ascribed to the Poles....namely honor and fortitude. The third that he missed entirely was faith....specifically the Catholic faith. I could have been reading about Scotland, or England for without the Catholic faith, Poland is just another country. Very revisionist novel. This is a disappointing sequel to 'Push Not the River" - a truly worthy novel.

  • Jennifer Coe
    2018-11-10 12:29

    I really enjoyed Push Not The River, which was based upon a diary and true events. I was hoping the follow up book would be just as good. I was sorely disappointed. The story isn't based upon any true events, and the author spends too much time (in my opinion) rehashing the war events. I lost interest about half way through and I put it back on my book shelf with out finishing it, this isn't common for me, I usually finish reading a book, even if it isn't my favorite.

  • Hayley
    2018-11-14 11:42

    This is the sequel to "Push Not The River," which was excellent. It is not worth reading. Pretend it doesn't exist. The startling difference may lie in the fact that the first novel was based on historic fact, in the form of the heroine's actual diary, translated by one of her descendants; whereas, this was written by the author's own story-telling abilities, which are virtually nonexistent.

  • Ariela
    2018-10-24 15:35

    As a sequel to “Push Not the River,” this book continues the story of the Polish Countess Anna Maria Berezowska. The author began writing about her after discovering her unpublished diary, which recounted her experiences as a 17-year-old orphan who falls in love with her handsome neighbor Jan Stelnicki, but is brutally raped and married off before their love can be realized. Behind her misfortune is none other than her cousin Zofia, and “Push Not the River” follows Anna up until the Russian army invades Poland. “Against a Crimson Sky” picks up right where the first book left off, which is great, but unless you have read its predecessor the characters’ actions and motivations will not make much sense. At this point Queen Catherine of Russia has taken control of Poland and Napoleon Bonaparte’s army has begun their ill-fated march whose aim is conquering Russia. Because of their noble status Anna and her family cannot help but become entangled in the political and military intrigue that encompasses their country. From fierce loyalty and bittersweet longing, to blackmail and murder, this story has a bit of everything. Martin does a fine job of incorporating Polish history into his novel and I especially loved the chapters that dealt with Anna’s sons, who by this time are old enough to be soldiers in Napoleon’s army. I only wish that he had devoted more time to the character of Zofia, whose beauty, intelligence and ruthlessness makes her a riveting tale waiting to happen. Perhaps he is saving her for book number three?

  • Merry
    2018-11-13 09:52

    I just liked this book. The characters from the beginning, Push Not the River, got my attention and I immediately decided I would read this sequel. Though not as engaging as the first book, this one did seem to wrap up the story line which was nice, so as not to leave me wondering what happened next, but it also went into great detail of Napoleon and his war efforts to secure all of Europe as his empire. Though small in stature, Napoleon could convince thousands to march to his dreams and eventually their deaths. But that is another story. Zofia was my favorite character. I won't say anymore, except that she could handle any situation. We should all have a little Zofia in us.

  • Barb
    2018-10-30 11:37

    'Push Not the River' was James Conroyd Martin's first book about Countess Anna Maria Berezowska. Which was based on Anna's own personal diary. In 'Against a Crimson Sky' Martin creates for the reader a fictional continuation of Anna Maria's story from his own imagination. I was not as satisfied with this story, I was disappointed to learn that this book was entirely fictional, which I failed to realize until I had already started reading it. I'm glad I read it but this was not as moving as Push Not the River and the characters were not as realistic or vivid. The details of the military progress sometimes bordered on tedious. And we don't really get to know Anna's son's except through their dialog. I thought Push Not The River was a great book, this one wasn't as satisfying.

  • Annette
    2018-10-14 15:45

    This is the sequel to "Push Not the River". Liked this book just as much as the first. Both are based upon true events upon which he builds characters as they might have experienced life in those times in Poland. I learned a lot about the Napoleonic Era here--things I don't think I ever learned in school (or maybe I just don't remember when they were presented as dry facts). Here people's lives are affected and we see how historical events had such impact on personal lives, not just the warriors but their families and the cities they left to go to the wars. Characters are well developed; the historical events are easy to follow. A good mix of story and history. I'm ready to read the third in this Trilogy.

  • Kimberlee
    2018-10-22 07:49

    This is the sequel to Push Not the River which is a novel based on the diaries of a woman who lived through tumultuous years of civil war and foreign invasion in Poland. This sequel, however, is not based on the diaries but is the author’s continuation based on his knowledge of the characters and his studies of the era. Because of this, the book lacked a lot of the authenticity that the first one has which, for me, definitely dampened its appeal. It also lacked a really compelling plot, it seemed at the end that a lot of stuff happened but then not much happened at the same time. If you’ve read the first, which I’d recommend, you oughta read the sequel, but be warned it’s not nearly as good.

  • Katrina Shawver
    2018-11-13 12:34

    This book is a great sequel to Push Not the River, Part 1 of the Trilogy which I could not put down. I ordered Against a Crimson Sky within an hour of finishing the first book. The story continues, and it truly held my attention - for the first two thirds. But in the last third, it begins to drown in battle after battle of tragic history. I wanted more characters, less war and started skimming past all the war details just to get to more story. It is also confusing to mention so many small towns - I lose track of geography and distance. I still give it three stars because it held my interest and I wanted to finish it. It's definitely a sequel book I would not read if you haven't read Part 1. There are a couple more comments I could say, but they would be spoiler alerts.

  • Shyla
    2018-10-22 07:41

    I was really excited to read this next chapter in Anna's story. And it was mostly not a dispipointment. I say mostly only becuase of two main reasons. The first is that I knew it was not based on her diary or any factual accounts as was the first book. And secondly the book was too far sweeping as far as the time line went. It covered too much time and I felt the author dragged Anna's story out just so that he could include key points in history. Other then that the book was very well written, I love the historical accounts included and love the characters as if they were my very own ancestors.

  • Sarah Faulkner
    2018-11-09 08:52

    I bought this book after reading the amazing "Push Not the River" by the same author, but was very disappointed in comparison. The previous book was based on the real diaries of one of the characters and this one was a sequel but the author just inserted a (rather boring) narrative into a dry historical timeline. I forced myself to finish it because I actually bought the book (based on loving the other one so much) but it was not fun. its definitely well-researched and gives a good overview of historical events of the time, but it doesn't engage the reader like really good historical fiction.

  • Dawn
    2018-11-10 08:48

    I just loved these two books! The first book was based one a journal, diary, and the second on the authors imagination. So obviously the first is more historically accurate about people's lives; however, I feel the author did a beautiful job continuing there lives as they would probably have unfolded. And he added a lot more war sciences most likely to keep in the theme of the original book of a historical novel. For those who don't like the war stuff it is easy to skim...wonderful book, tastefully doe no swearing, explicit sexual scenes, or anything else that could prove offensive.

  • Venessa
    2018-11-04 07:45

    I didn't like this as well as Push Not The River in part, I'm sure, because this wasn't based on anything, whereas the first was based on two diaries. Still, it was enjoyable for the most part and a quick read. My mind wandered during all of the battle scenes. This book takes place during Napoleon's wars, and traces the lives of the characters over a time span of twenty years. I felt that much of the plot was a bit far fetched but entertaining; predictable at times, whereas the real stories in the former novel was not at all.

  • Asl4u
    2018-11-03 10:45

    So I remember feeling like the reader diminutized the characters in this book - and I was hesitant even to start it - but she did not do the same this time. The voices were reasonable - easy to follow and stable across the characters. It turned out to be a really nice sequel - and it had more dates and historical specifics than I got in the first book - which made it more interesting to me (I'll have to go back and re-read the first book - its possible the specifics were there but I was distracted by the voices..) over all - great book and I'm moving on to book 3 now.. good series!

  • Toni
    2018-10-15 14:39

    I absolutely loved the first book in the trilogy, Push Not the River, which is a riveting story based on the actual unpublished diaries of a Polish Countess. Against a Crimson Sky is a solid sequel --- very enjoyable, and rife with incredible historical detail. As with its predecessor (which I gave 5 stars), this book is well written and interesting, with characters that pull you into their tale. James Conroyd Martin's writing does justice to the diaries and story of an amazing woman during amazing times.

  • Patti Raney
    2018-11-08 13:31

    I really enjoy reading books from this author. I didn't before know that I am so interested in the history of Poland. This novel tells about Napoleonic era from a perspective of the Poles, and about the family of Anna Maria Berezowska Steinicki. Four stars instead of five because I didn't like it quite as well as Push Not the River. Can't wait to read the Warsaw Conspiracy....that will finalize their story.

  • alicia molica
    2018-10-17 08:31

    Great sequel to Push Not the RiverI think this book could not be any better. It follows up the stories of the characters perfectly. Honestly this is the only book that's ever made me emotional reading it. The author did a great job of drawing you in and letting you get attached to the characters. I have barely been able to put this book down and can't wait to start the third of the series.

  • Ginger Weirich
    2018-11-12 10:50

    Oh my! My heart was in my throat throughout this entire tale. Of course, it is the continuation of “Push Not the River”, and it captured me every bit as much as the first. The heartbreak of the Polish people during this time is undeniable. Yet their resilience is likewise undeniable. Onward now to the third in this series. I have a feeling that I will feel quite bereft once I have finished with them. 5 stars.

  • Tanja
    2018-10-21 07:56

    I liked push not the river better, but it was nice to have Anna's story gain some closure. I thought that the path the characters took in this story seemed believable. They had to withstand many hardships. It was a story of every kind of love: True love, lust love, unrequited love, convenient love, love for power, love for friend, and parental love. And how this love changes us and makes life worth living for.