Detailed Review Summary of With Fire and Sword by Henryk SienkiewiczGoodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Other editions. Enlarge cover.
With Fire and Sword Book Summary and Study Guide
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With Fire and Sword Kuniczak , published in ]. See also: Henryk Sienkiewicz 2 books reviewed Historical Fiction. Kuniczak , published in ] Ask around a bit and you'll find no shortage of folks, men in particular, who became readers via their encounters in youth with class adventure tales: The Three Musketeers, The Count of Monte Cristo, Ivanhoe, the Lord of the Rings, etc. All the more remarkable then that one of the great adventure authors of all time actually won a Nobel and somewhat tragic that so few have read him in recent decades. But Henryk Sienkiewicz has made something of a comeback and it could not be more welcome.
As you can guess by the title, With Fire and Sword is primarily a war novel, but most people will come to the novel with little or no knowledge of the ferocious struggle that takes place in its pages. I remember my own puzzlement decades ago when I first saw the film version of Taras Bulba with Tony Curtis and Yul Brynner, wondering why on earth Poles and Cossacks were fighting one another, a mystification that only increased when I read the original Gogol novella. It turns out that my historical education had skipped a couple of centuries during which Poland, having united its royal family with that of Lithuania, held a vast eastern realm including much of the current Belorus and Ukraine. Both the last chapter of Gogol's tale, and the whole of this novel by Sienkiewicz deal with the bloody convulsion that ensued in the mid-seventeenth century when Cossack subjects in the Ukraine rose up against their foreign overlords. Sienkiewicz tells this compelling story from a generally Polish viewpoint, although important Cossack leaders also figure significantly and with some sympathy.
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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. Click here to see the rest of this review. However, there are some soldiers who fight for the good of the commonwealth.