This powerful novel, "a Polish Gone with the Wind" (New York Times Book Review), is set in the 17th century and follows the struggle of the kingdom of Poland to maintain its unity in the face of the Cossack-led peasant rebellion. Foreword by James Michener.
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Text: English (translation)
Original Language: Polish
The Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth still controlled eastern Europe in 1647, but during that year everything changed. The first sparks appeared in the Ukraine, where a domestic dispute between Bohdan Hmyelnitzki and his neighbor mushroomed into a full-blown Cossack rebellion against the gentry. Long-smoldering resentments flashed into a wildfire of rape, pillage, and murder as the peasants joined the Cossack army and fought their way toward Warsaw, bringing with them the dreaded hordes of Tartars from the east. Fighting in this epic conflict, Yan Skshetuski, commander of armored knights in the prince's army, falls in love with the beautiful Helen, only to have her stolen by the Cossacks. Thus, the string of ensuing battles becomes not just a struggle for Poland's survival but a search by Skshetuski and his fellow knights for Helen, the symbol of all Poland was and now stands to lose. With Fire and Sword , the first installment of Sienkiewicz's "Trilogy," will take its place beside such works as the Iliad as one of the great pieces of epic literature. The Polish author, winner of the 1905 Nobel Prize for Literature, captures the historical essence of a culture in eclipse, expressing it through characters at once larger than life and engagingly human. While his Quo Vadis? is widely known, until now the "Trilogy" has been virtually unread outside Poland because it lacked a readable translation and was suppressed by Poland's Communist government. However, Kuniczak's magnificent rendition now offers this literary gem to a wide audience. As the next two volumes appear, the applause will surely grow. Most highly recommended.
- Paul E. Hutchison, Pequea, Pa.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Collier Books, 1993. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0020820445
Book Description Collier Books, 1993. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # P110020820445
Book Description Collier Books. PAPERBACK. Book Condition: New. 0020820445 New Condition. Bookseller Inventory # NEW6.0003245