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Against a Crimson Sky (The Poland Trilogy, # 2)

3.67 of 5 stars 3.67  ·  rating details  ·  345 ratings  ·  59 reviews
A magnificent epic, Against a Crimson Sky is an unforgettable tale of love, valor, and the enduring strength of the human spirit, set against the backdrop of war-torn Poland at the cusp of the nineteenth century.

The year is 1794, and the beautiful and resilient Countess Anna Maria Berezowska has narrowly escaped death amidst the chaos caused by the violent dissolution of
Paperback, 2, 456 pages
Published April 27th 2014 by Hussar Quill Press (first published August 8th 2006)
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  • Against a Crimson Sky by James Conroyd Martin
    Against a Crimson Sky
    By the author of PUSH NOT THE RIVER! Autographed hardcover! AGAINST A CRIMSON SKY tells the interrelated stories of four characters in the aftermath o…more
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    (showing 1-30 of 1,394)
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    A little slow in the first two thirds but the last third was quite exciting. I found the author identified and highlighted two of the three characteristics ascribed to the Poles....namely honor and fortitude. The third that he missed entirely was faith....specifically the Catholic faith. I could have been reading about Scotland, or England for without the Catholic faith, Poland is just another country. Very revisionist novel. This is a disappointing sequel to 'Push Not the River" - a truly worth ...more
    Jennifer Coe
    I really enjoyed Push Not The River, which was based upon a diary and true events. I was hoping the follow up book would be just as good. I was sorely disappointed. The story isn't based upon any true events, and the author spends too much time (in my opinion) rehashing the war events. I lost interest about half way through and I put it back on my book shelf with out finishing it, this isn't common for me, I usually finish reading a book, even if it isn't my favorite.
    This is the sequel to "Push Not The River," which was excellent. It is not worth reading. Pretend it doesn't exist. The startling difference may lie in the fact that the first novel was based on historic fact, in the form of the heroine's actual diary, translated by one of her descendants; whereas, this was written by the author's own story-telling abilities, which are virtually nonexistent.
    Sep 18, 2014 Anne rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
    Recommends it for: Historical fiction lovers
    This is the sequel to "Push not the River" which I absolutely loved. This one is just as good as Anna starts married life with Jan and they have two children. He has adopted her son Jan Michel. Then Napoleon begins his conquests and many Poles join with him in hopes that Poland may once again be a nation. Much heartache for Anna as Jan is gone for many years fighting and she has her own problems with a vicious man in her home town who has been threatening her and once again, cousin Zofia enters ...more
    Cheryl Lachapelle
    Jun 26, 2007 Cheryl Lachapelle rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
    Recommends it for: yes
    Follow up to Push Not The River. I am of Polish descent so the story is interesting to me. I also love historical novels so I enjoy that part of the novel too.
    Betty Strohecker
    It is the year 1794 as Anna Maria Bereskowsa'a story continues in war torn Poland. Anna has faced tragedy, deprivation, and narrowly escaped death, but still she forges on in hopes that her nation will one day find peace. She is reunited with her longtime love, Jan Stelnicki, but his patriotism will see them separated again. Anna also must face the return of her cousin Zofia who has betrayed her in the past and will do anything to follow her own desires and insure her survival. Set amid true eve ...more
    As a sequel to “Push Not the River,” this book continues the story of the Polish Countess Anna Maria Berezowska. The author began writing about her after discovering her unpublished diary, which recounted her experiences as a 17-year-old orphan who falls in love with her handsome neighbor Jan Stelnicki, but is brutally raped and married off before their love can be realized. Behind her misfortune is none other than her cousin Zofia, and “Push Not the River” follows Anna up until the Russian army ...more
    I just liked this book. The characters from the beginning, Push Not the River, got my attention and I immediately decided I would read this sequel. Though not as engaging as the first book, this one did seem to wrap up the story line which was nice, so as not to leave me wondering what happened next, but it also went into great detail of Napoleon and his war efforts to secure all of Europe as his empire. Though small in stature, Napoleon could convince thousands to march to his dreams and eventu ...more
    'Push Not the River' was James Conroyd Martin's first book about Countess Anna Maria Berezowska. Which was based on Anna's own personal diary.

    In 'Against a Crimson Sky' Martin creates for the reader a fictional continuation of Anna Maria's story from his own imagination.

    I was not as satisfied with this story, I was disappointed to learn that this book was entirely fictional, which I failed to realize until I had already started reading it.

    I'm glad I read it but this was not as moving as Push
    I enjoyed reading the continuation of the characters' stories from Push Not The River. I gave it one less star because it was a little heavy on the war strategics for my taste. Still a great story though.
    This is the sequel to Push Not the River which is a novel based on the diaries of a woman who lived through tumultuous years of civil war and foreign invasion in Poland. This sequel, however, is not based on the diaries but is the author’s continuation based on his knowledge of the characters and his studies of the era. Because of this, the book lacked a lot of the authenticity that the first one has which, for me, definitely dampened its appeal. It also lacked a really compelling plot, it seeme ...more
    Y. Isabel
    This book wasn't as enjoyable or sweeping as PNTR. Some parts of the book read more like a history book, which was boring to read and it dragged a lot.
    Sarah Faulkner
    I bought this book after reading the amazing "Push Not the River" by the same author, but was very disappointed in comparison. The previous book was based on the real diaries of one of the characters and this one was a sequel but the author just inserted a (rather boring) narrative into a dry historical timeline. I forced myself to finish it because I actually bought the book (based on loving the other one so much) but it was not fun. its definitely well-researched and gives a good overview of h ...more
    I was really excited to read this next chapter in Anna's story. And it was mostly not a dispipointment. I say mostly only becuase of two main reasons. The first is that I knew it was not based on her diary or any factual accounts as was the first book. And secondly the book was too far sweeping as far as the time line went. It covered too much time and I felt the author dragged Anna's story out just so that he could include key points in history. Other then that the book was very well written, I ...more
    I just loved these two books! The first book was based one a journal, diary, and the second on the authors imagination. So obviously the first is more historically accurate about people's lives; however, I feel the author did a beautiful job continuing there lives as they would probably have unfolded. And he added a lot more war sciences most likely to keep in the theme of the original book of a historical novel. For those who don't like the war stuff it is easy to skim...wonderful book, tastefu ...more
    Mary Lou
    Book 2 in a trilogy. I never realized what Poland went through and have learned a lot.
    April Saltz-york
    Again, I am left with a well finished story and the hope of picking up the next book to read on. Sad that this next book will end this trilogy..not sure if I am ready for that.
    Tammy Post
    I didn't think this book was quite as good as Push not the River. I actually liked all of the historical information, but the book dragged in spots.
    I didn't like this as well as Push Not The River in part, I'm sure, because this wasn't based on anything, whereas the first was based on two diaries. Still, it was enjoyable for the most part and a quick read. My mind wandered during all of the battle scenes. This book takes place during Napoleon's wars, and traces the lives of the characters over a time span of twenty years. I felt that much of the plot was a bit far fetched but entertaining; predictable at times, whereas the real stories in t ...more
    Patti Raney
    I really enjoy reading books from this author. I didn't before know that I am so interested in the history of Poland. This novel tells about Napoleonic era from a perspective of the Poles, and about the family of Anna Maria Berezowska Steinicki. Four stars instead of five because I didn't like it quite as well as Push Not the River. Can't wait to read the Warsaw Conspiracy....that will finalize their story.
    I liked push not the river better, but it was nice to have Anna's story gain some closure. I thought that the path the characters took in this story seemed believable. They had to withstand many hardships. It was a story of every kind of love: True love, lust love, unrequited love, convenient love, love for power, love for friend, and parental love. And how this love changes us and makes life worth living for.
    This one was a disappointment after "Push Not The River," I gave five stars to that one but this sequel about Napoleon Bonaparte invasion of Russia is a real downer. I did not like this one. There is still a third book to this sequel. I think the writer should have stopped with the first one. I have no desire to even read the third. I understand now why the libraries never bothered to order it.
    This was the second book to "Push Not the River." This was not the better of the two - it was not based on a real diary (like the first) but the author took the characters from the first and wrote what he think they would do during the Napoleonic Era. All in all - a good series, but the second book went too deep into the politics of the era and pulled away from the actual characters.
    Bob Lambert
    My expectations were not met after reading Push Not The River. The story was very slow moving and I found myself skipping paragraphs and then pages to get to something interesting. Towards the end however, when Bonaparte had the Polish armies supplementing his French forces, the action was more lively. I almost stopped reading the book about a third into it because I was bored.
    Mieczyslaw Kasprzyk
    I enjoyed the book but, as with it's predecessor, I felt the characters were a little too good to be true. The storyline was simple and a little far-fetched in parts (the secret society just doesn't ring true - though I'm not saying it isn't). This would probably make a good movie where we don't really need depth of character, just action.
    Laura Mcewen-miller
    loved the continuation-sorry It took me so long to find and read(darn Borders) the story flowed as well as the first and felt I was back with friends again- the characters were so memorable it didn't matter that I read the first book 8 years ago-Anna,Jan and Zophia were so well written,Martin obviously knows his subjects and Polish history well.
    Rachael Knudsen
    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
    Sequel following family in Poland. Not as good as the first but did have its moments. Fascinating backdrop an informative about the times transporting the past to the present.

    Favorite quote: It was a kiss that transported her to an autumn meadow long ago in Halicz, a kiss that would carry her forward all of her days.
    I did enjoy this second book, however I must say I liked Push Not The River a little better. It was a tad too heavy on the specifics regarding the strategic war efforts of Napoleon. I do appreciate the history lesson but the first book integrated it better for me personally than the second. Still, a very good read.
    I received this book for free via the Goodreads First Reads program.

    This book was wonderful. I loved the setting (Napoleon's era), and I loved that it followed multiple couples - each with a different story and ending. It wasn't cliched, and the ending was good.

    I'd definitely recommend it.
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    James Conroyd Martin is the author of Push Not the River, a novel based on the diary of Anna Berezowska, a Polish countess who lived through the rise and fall of the Third of May Constitution. After working on the project for some years without raising interest within the publishing community, Martin self-published in 2001. Just one year later, St. Martin’s Press purchased the book and released a ...more
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