In 1655, Sweden attacks the Polish-Lithuanian commonwealth, aided by some nobles, such as the Radizivills, who use the invasion to bolster their own positions. At the same time, the commonwealth is threatened by Russia, the Turks, and potentially by Germany as well. To some, it appears that the commonwealth is finished, and as a result more and more nobles surrender to the Swedes and open their arms to the invaders.
In this place and time, it is not always easy to tell what is right. The hot-tempered Andrei Kmita, for example, is engaged to the young Olenka when the invasion occurs. His excesses make Olenka break off the engagement and Kmita tries to show her he has changed. Unfortunately, he is tricked into thinking that the Radizivills pose the best hope for the commonwealth and he provides the invaders and traitors with much help before he realizes their true nature.
Disgusted and horrified, Kmita takes on an assumed identity in order to fight for the side of the commonwealth. Helped by the famous swordsman Michal Volodyovski, Kmita fights the invaders and rebels as well as the commoners helping the invaders. For a time, it looks as though the republic will fall, but then the defence of a famous monastery inspires the commonwealth with new vigour and Kmita and other soldiers work hard to repel the invaders and to outwit the evil Radizivill cousins.
The review of this Book prepared by A. A.