Before the Fortress Falls

About the Book:

Before the Fortress Falls by [A. L. Sowards]

Title: Before the Fortress Falls

Author: A. L. Sowards

Release Day: April 1, 2022

Publisher: Covenant Communications

Formats: Print, ebook, audio

Genres: Christian Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction, War Fiction

When rumors reach Vienna that an attack by the Ottoman army is imminent, Wilhelm von Schor, one of the emperor’s courtiers, prepares to evacuate his family—including his sister, Katja. But Katja’s reluctance to leave the city and the people she loves so well grows the farther the family carriage gets from her childhood home. When she learns that another brother, Xavier, is returning to Vienna with his musketeers, she decides to remain behind and face the shadow of war.

Katja soon reunites with Xavier and also with Toby, a dear friend from childhood. As Katja and Toby renew their friendship, an element of attraction builds on the comradery of their youth, and they quickly realize they have found something worth fighting for: love. But all too soon, the Ottomans encircle the city, blanketing its inhabitants in fear. Katja, Toby, and Xavier must each fulfill their new roles if they are to survive. In the overcrowded hospitals, below ground in the countermines, and on the ramparts defending the city walls, the three must fight for love, family, faith, and the survival of their city and everyone inside.

Book Trailer:

Book Review:

Wow! This was a stunning book. This book started off a bit slower for me but I knew that it could happen. My brain takes a while to process things so it took me a little while to read, but it was a great book! Before the Fortress Falls is by A.L. Sowards. The characters were so engaging and the story was beautiful. It was fun to read from different perspectives and I think it really made the story interesting. 

Katja was a strong character who was trying to do what she thought was best. Although the Ottoman army was coming, she chose to stay in Vienna. I thought that Katja was an interesting character, she felt so real. Life was hard, they were in the midst of a siege and yet she did not give up. However I liked how there were still times when she was afraid or when she felt overwhelmed, but how she still pressed on and looked to God. 

Toby was also a wonderful character, his life had not been easy but he worked hard. I liked his strength and his willingness to help serve his home city. Although he was afraid, he still wanted to protect his home. He was human though and there were times when he got discouraged. However though it all he still worked hard and he even encouraged Katja when she got down. 

Toby and Katja had a sweet romance. They had been old friends, and it was sweet to read about them. I liked how their romance was a slow burn, it was definitely cute to read about them interacting and helping each other. They had their troubles and an invasion to fight off, but they worked together. 

Xavier and Wilhelm were some of the other perspectives that you got to see. I really liked reading from both of their perspectives. They had a few different views on life, but they both wanted to save their home city. Although they fought and disagreed, they were still family. I really liked the family feel of this book. Katja, Wilhelm, and Xavier all had different views on life and ideas, but they still cared for each other even when things got hard. 

The action was very exciting in this book and it was definitely fascinating to read about. I felt as if I learned a lot from the battle scenes and from what the soldiers did to try and prepare for battle. It was really engaging. There are some more gruesome wounds and deaths mentioned but it fits the book and the scene. 

Before the Fortress Falls is a wonderful book and I would definitely recommend it! Before the Fortress Falls is a historical romance book. 

I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the publisher through Netgalley. All views expressed are only my honest opinion, a positive review was not required. 

About the Author:

A. L. Sowards is the author of multiple historical fiction novels, with settings spanning the globe from the fourteenth to twentieth centuries. Her stories have earned a Whitney Award, several Whitney Finalists positions, and a Readers’ Favorite Gold Medal. She enjoys hiking and swimming, usually manages to keep up with the laundry, and loves it when someone else cooks dinner. She currently lives in the beautiful state of Alaska with her husband, three children, and an ever-growing library.

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