With Fire and Sword Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of With Fire and Sword

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.

Chapter Analysis of With Fire and Sword

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book descript. of violence and chases 30%Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 30%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 30%How society works & physical descript. (people, objects, places) 10% Tone of story    -   depressing/sad Time/era of story:    -   1600-1899 War Thriller    -   Yes Armed Forces:    -   Army Kid or adult book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Is Romance a MAJOR (25%+) part of story?    -   Yes

Main Character

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   infantry soldier


Europe    -   Yes European country:    -   Eastern Europe Misc setting    -   fort/military installation

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   moderately detailed references to deaths Unusual forms of death    -   impaled Unusual form of death?    -   Yes Amount of dialog    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog

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Henryk Sienkiewicz Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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