Before the Fortress Falls
Momma Leighellen's Book Review

“Everyone in this city is struggling with the same thing. Hope dimmed by death and setbacks.  Faith robbed by fear.  But you are doing your part, even when it’s hard, even when you’re scared.  And that’s how we’re going to defeat this seige.”

Do not let the beautiful cover of Before The Fortress Falls fool you. If you look behind her pretty dress, you will see what this novel is truly about.  This is a gritty, heartbreaking yet hopeful, detailed account of war.  With all its ugliness and fear and death.  But @a.l.sowards weaves an incredible tale of courage and perseverance amidst unimaginable odds. And I’m always so thankful for authors willing to dive into history beyond WWII. 

This multi POV story takes place in Vienna in 1683, when the Ottoman empire was attacking the city.  Katja, a young woman torn from her home, is torn between her brother who is fleeing the city and the brother that stays behind to fight.  In the end, she chooses to stay in the city despite the dangers that await.  She also reconnects with a childhood friend named Toby, and they grow close despite the turmoil that surrounds them.

“Love can make things more painful because fear of losing it is so sharp. But love is also what makes life so beautiful and sweet – sometimes it’s the only thing that makes it worth the struggle.” 

I loved how this author dives into the details of history – from the way she explored military tactics to the details of countermining.  She doesn’t shy away from the horrors and tragedy of war.  But it’s balanced with hope, determination, and faith.

I also couldn’t help but notice the similarities of this war and the one taking place in Ukraine. Before The Fortress Falls highlights a city full of ordinary people trying to defend their homeland against thousands of highly trained soldiers, standing up to unimaginable odds, and praying help will come. @a.l.sowards but have sensed that too, as she is donating ALL profits from April sales of her book to Ukraine charity organizations.  

I encourage you to pick this one up!  I’ll be hosting an IG LIVE today at 4pm MST with @a.l.sowards to discuss this book and giveaway a copy.  Join us to learn more!

You can pick up a copy of the book here.  To read more of my reviews, check out the rest of my blog.  To enter the latest giveaways and see what I’m currently reading, head to my Bookstagram account in IG.  And to listen to me chat all things bookish and share my latest reviews, head to my Booktube Channel. To try the book on audio go here!

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