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Sisters of War

4.25  ·  Rating details ·  637 ratings  ·  94 reviews
'A powerful and hard-hitting novel' – Deborah Swift

Love can’t be defined by war…
A dark shadow is about to fall over the golden cupolas of Kiev…

As the Red Army retreats in the face of Hitler’s relentless advance across Eastern Europe, the lives of sisters Natasha and Lisa are about to change forever.

While Lisa’s plans to marry her childhood sweetheart turn to tragedy under
Paperback, 384 pages
Expected publication: September 3rd 2020 by HQ Digital (first published January 8th 2016)
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Average rating 4.25  · 
Rating details
 ·  637 ratings  ·  94 reviews

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Catherine ♡
*Thank you to the author for providing me a free e-copy in exchange for an honest review!*

Actual Rating: 5

I am absolutely speechless - this book was amazing.

Savaged Lands follows Natasha Smirnova during World War II. Despite Stalin's promises to protect the Ukrainian capital, Hitler is rapidly gaining power and Natasha's peaceful world is shattered. In the midst of so much pain and danger, Natasha meets Mark, a Hungarian soldier fighting against the Red Army, but their relationship will have
Sharon Laker
May 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Savaged Lands by Lana Kortchik.
How does one find the words to describe something so special, so wonderful, I don't know.
Lana Kortchik's book "Savaged Lands" is a story about a family called the Smirnous who lived in Kiev during WWII when the Nazi's occupied their city.
"Wait and Hope" was all the family could do as they lost friends and family members. This story has many surprising twists to it. When you think things couldn't get any worst for this family it does, time and time again.

I didn't
Heather Osborne
Aug 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am a big fan of Holocaust/WWII Europe era novels, as many of you know. This was a first for me, as I had not read anything about the Nazi occupation of Kiev, and parts of the Soviet Union, in a fictional sense.

Once I started reading Savaged Lands, I was hooked. Natasha's life was fraught with uncertainty, and yet, she still clung to the hope the German occupation would end. Miss Kortchik takes the reader on a whirlwind journey, full of emotions; loss, love, and faith, in this well-researched
Nov 24, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley, kindle
2.75 stars
Kiev, 1941. Natasha Smirnov and her family witness the arrival of German soldiers in their city and it isn't too long until the citizens see the consequences of war. Most of the story is a love story as Natasha falls in love with a Hungarian soldier named Mark. When Natasha and her brother, Nikolai find an unconscious Red Army soldier named Yuri, the family finds themselves working against the Nazis and Natasha finds herself torn between two men fighting on opposite sides.

I read this
J.L. Leslie
There is so much I want to say about this book, but honestly words can't describe the way I feel about it. I also don't want to give any spoilers. It was heart-breaking, but heart-mending all at the same time. I cried, smiled, gasped, and laughed while reading this book. It will stay with me long after I've finished it. It was heart-wrenching to read what the Smirnova family went through...suffered. It felt like I was reading a true story of Natasha Smirnova. It was like I was reading about her ...more
L.N. Denison
Oct 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I went into this book knowing that it was going to be a dark, foreboding read. How could it not be with the subject matter used. Savaged lands tells the story of one family's struggle during the German occupation of Kiev from 1941 to 1943. It revolves around one person in particular, Natasha Smirnov(a), a 19 year old woman, who does everything she can, to keep her family alive during the desperate times, with a little help from Mark, the Hungarian soldier that saved her life, but at the same ...more
Drew Irons
Jan 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2019
First book of the year finished and oh my what a cracking start. This book was WONDERFUL!!
I happened to randomly see this advertised on Twitter and thought it looked pretty interesting so I organised the delivery of it to my kindle! It's a story set in WW2 but for a change, it was set in Kiev. You don't get too many stories set behind the Iron Curtain, for obvious reasons, the most notable being Follett's Centuries trilogy and I didn't really know what to expect but by about 10% in I was
Aug 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Story of Us is a moving tale of love and loss set during WWII in Nazi occupied Kiev. Mrs. Kortchik takes us into the lives of ordinary Kievans, and we see and experience their troubles. Yet through it all, there is hope. I’m always fascinated with how the war affected the lives of ordinary people, and the author does not disappoint. A scene that stayed with me was when Natasha's mother struggled over whether to go hungry or to eat the bread a Nazi soldier had left them. If you love ...more
Harry Fox
May 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Jewel of a Novel

This is an absolutely gripping tale of love, tragedy, pain, and courage in the face of the Nazi occupation of Kiev, Ukraine, during World War II. The focus is on Natasha Smirnova, an ethnic Russian whose family lived in that devastated city during those desperate times. It is a romance story, and Natasha falls in love with a Hungarian soldier named Mark, who is forced to fight on the side of the Germans.
The author, Lana Kortchik, has done her homework, and it shows. Her writing
Jul 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle
Natasha Smirnova’s life is changed irrevocably the day Hitler’s forces march into Kiev. As the city is occupied and the German troops begin their stranglehold, the Smirnova family is repeatedly torn apart; by death, by imprisonment, even by a budding romance.

Savaged Lands follows Natasha’s life as she struggles to hold her family together throughout the German occupation. She watches as the German troops march in, as they begin enforcing their new rules and the city begins to change around her.
May 26, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thought that this was a good story. There was lots of interesting information around the setting that I don't know about. Not read any books written in this era are based in Ukraine, I was particularly interested in the author's notes at the end of the book.
Some of the story made me gasp, some made me sad, but overall a book that I enjoyed.

Thanks to NetGalley, Lana Kortchik and the publisher HQ digital for the opportunity to read and review this book.t
Aug 06, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ww2
I received a free copy of this book to review. However, the following review is my honest opinion.

Stalin would protect them. The Soviet Union would never fall. That is what Natasha wants to believe. And she does–until the Nazis march into Kiev to eat all their food, squat in their homes and generally lay waste to the Ukranian capital.

Being a feisty old lady (old ladies are the scariest people, I swear), Natasha’s grandmother decides to take a stand against a Nazi soldier. Bad idea. Pissed off,
Ian Bristow
Oct 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Savaged Lands is a powerful story of human struggle, and the beauty of love’s ability to blossom in the darkest of times. Natasha is the kind of main character you can root for, with her kind heart and positive outlook on the world, even when life as she knew it is flipped upside down. But everyone has a breaking point, and as life in Nazi-occupied Kiev becomes more than even she can bear, her story’s dynamic becomes enthralling.

The strength of family bonds and what it means to be human are at
251 Things To Do
If you are a fan of war and romance novels, you’ll most definitely enjoy this. A unique perspective into WW2, a Hungarian soldier falls for a Russian girl. Forced to work for the Nazis, he is faced with trying to save his lover and her family. An intense read, the author highlights the emotions of loved ones in a time of fear, fight for survival, hope, and desperate measures. Many of the brutalities are spared for the reader, with the author maintaining focus on the raw emotions between family ...more
JP Reviews
Aug 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow. Just wow. It's not often that a book moves me to actual tears, but this book certainly managed that. Several times.

This book follows the life of Natasha and her family during the invasion of Hitler and the German military. It's raw. It's beautiful. And it takes you on a rollercoaster of emotions.

My only complaint was that the chapters were far too long. Some could have been cut into 2 or 3 chapters. Now I don't know how many people are like me, but when I say "Hey one more chapter before
P.S. Winn
Feb 11, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a well written story about life, love and family as they try to survive the horrors of WWII. The author did a great job telling the story of the Smirnova family from 1941 to 1943. The tale is sad at times, uplifting at times and touching as a family is devastated by the loss and horror of war. I found myself finishing the book quickly and having read a lot of books about the war and the people who lived and died, think this one is well written and I think readers will find the story ...more
Feb 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Beautiful love story

I enjoyed every page of this book. I fell in love with Natasha and her family and felt their hurts during the war. I prayed for them and cried with them and finally felt their joy. I do not care for romance novels....but this was a love story. It had the happy ending but was so much more than just a romance novel. It was hard to put down and so worth it
D.N. Hoxa
May 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
5 Stars!
I can't say I've read many WWII stories. It's never easy to read about Nazis, but I absolutely loved this one. Natasha was amazing, and Mark even better! He's the hero we're always looking for. I felt the sadness, Natasha's connection to her family, the hope, and I strongly felt the love. Amazing book; highly recommended!
Dec 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Story Of Us by Lana Kortchik is a powerful and heart wrenching historical novel that will have the reader reaching for the tissues.
It is an epic read set in 1941 – 1943 surrounding the occupation of Kiev by the Nazis. It was a brutal time as lives were terrorized, starved, beaten and snuffed out. The population fell drastically during that time. The characters are fictional but with Lana Kortchik’s attention to detail, they feel very real. The reader empathises with their loses and hardship
I tried so much to love this book, but I just couldn't.
*spoilers ahead. Stop here if you want to read the book*

It started out okay, though I thought Natasha was portrayed as too naive and angelic to be 100% realistic. But I convinced myself that stories about true heroes of this war are indeed happened to ppl leaving through this war, and I loved their stories of selflessness and how it helped them survive the war.
But then, all of a sudden, Natasha turned out to be bitter, unhappy and so
Sonya Heaney
Yay - Ukrainian-set book by a Ukrainian author. Nobody seems to know how much Europe's biggest country suffered in the Second World War.
Mark Farley
Nov 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An engrossing, uplifting book. Packed with history and heartbreak. I really enjoyed this.
Mary Prigioni
No recommendation

The only redeeming quality of this book is learning some additional facts about how the Russian's handled Germany's takeover of Kiev, how the German soldiers handled the realization they were fighting a losing battle, and occasional heroics and cruelty on both sides. Otherwise it was too "sappy" for me. Other authors have done better with similar storylines.
Again, another one where I'm sitting here wondering what I missed. I had high hopes for this book but in the end it was just "ok" - the writing style (a little cheesy, clumsy and underdeveloped especially for such a serious and dramatic period in history) had me cringing at times. While the history piece is fascinating (about what happened in Kiev during the German occupation in the early 1940's), I had a hard time connecting with the characters because I felt as though they weren't developed ...more
Arthur Richards
Mar 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Could not stop reading savaged lands.

I strongly recommend savaged lands. Despite the sorrow, there remains hope. I could not put this book down even though I read late into night.
I am not sure why the rating on this book is 4.39. At first I thought it was a YA book and I didn't realize it - but it's not.

The writing is very unsophisticated and it feels like there was no editor giving feedback. It reads very much like someone's first unpolished novel that wasn't beta'd.

The concept of the story is interesting, but it needs work (especially the syrupy sweet love scenes with Natasha and Mark that seem to ramble on forever). I feel a little duped by the rating.
Stephan Morse
Oct 07, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Savaged Lands contains a lot of different elements. There’s budding romance, wartime fear, and characters who long to simply return to peaceful times and their homes. Throughout all this is a clear overview of what war does to people’s lives. Not the detached sort of war seen on a television screen video game, but the kind that tears at every aspect of a community. In demonstrating a real war’s travesty, ‘Savaged Lands’ is right on the mark.

It’s the events happening—not the characters—that drew
Apr 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
Review Highlights:

Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance

Age: 17+ ( based on the complexity of the writing, mild sexual situations and war time violence.)

Recommendation: This book is perfect for those who like well written historical fiction with a heartbreakingly realistic plot and a romance that brings hope even amidst some of the most horrific acts the world has ever seen.

Type: Stand Alone

Length: 292 pages

Summary: This book is more than I expected and surprised me completely. Complex, raw and
Mar 08, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Savaged lands tells the story of a family living in Kiev during the German occupation in WW2. The storyline is told from the point of view of one of the girls in the family, Natasha, who falls in love with a Hungarian soldier while her city and her family are falling apart to the horrors of the war.

Perhaps the thing I loved the most about the novel was the historical setting: By setting her tale against such a backdrop, Kortchik attempted to portray what life was for a family during such a
Kellyn Roth
It's been a long time since I've read a book so sad, if ever. Read this book and you'll end up miserable. Even sadder, it's historically accurate, so the sadness actually happened ... and I was near tears on several occasions. I may not be as hardcore as I thought I was.

On the other hand, I wasn't able to be totally depressed because I had the theme from "Fiddler on the Roof" playing in the back of my head the whole time I was reading it, which made me happy. That's the best song to get stuck
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Lana Kortchik grew up in two opposite corners of the Soviet Union – the snow-white Siberian town of Tomsk and the golden-domed Ukrainian capital, Kyiv. At the age of sixteen, she moved to Australia with her mother. Lana and her family live on the Central Coast of NSW, where it never snows and is always summer-warm.

Lana studied IT at university and, as a student, wrote poetry in Russian that she
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