In 1640, war breaks out in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Led by the Bohdan Hmyelnitzki, rebels turn against their homeland and join with the invaders in order to undermine the crown. The rebellion creates the state of Ukraine, but also costs many lives and creates many slaves in Europe as Polish people are captured by the rebels and sold as slaves. Farmlands are destroyed and patriots feel that the entire country may fall to ruin.
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However, there are some soldiers who fight for the good of the commonwealth. Yan Skshetuski stands by his king and fights the rebels. He meets a young noblewoman named Helen who is kidnapped by a rebel and taken away, seemingly by a magic force. Yan has his duty to the commonwealth but also tries to find out where Helen is.
His friends, Pan Zagloba, a tall-tale-telling, sometimes cowardly knight, comes to love Helen as his own daughter and tries to find her with as much passion as he tries to save himself from active or dangerous service. Michal Volodyovski is a master swordsman who helps Yan even as he flirts with every young girl in the royal court. Longinus Podbipyenta is a gentle huge knight from Lithuania who has made a vow to kill to avenge the commonwealth. As the friends try to help Yan, the civil war escalates, and they find themselves rushing across stretches of land to rescue Helen. At the same time, wartime pushes them into a final and bloody stand off at a poorly provisioned fortress.
The review of this Book prepared by A. A.