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Sisters of War

4.18  ·  Rating details ·  1,493 ratings  ·  220 reviews
*The USA Today bestseller!*

'A powerful and hard-hitting novel' – Deborah Swift

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 th
Paperback, 365 pages
Published September 22nd 2020 by HQ Digital (first published January 8th 2016)
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Average rating 4.18  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,493 ratings  ·  220 reviews

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Sep 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
4 stars for a story of a family in occupied Ukraine during WWII. This is a book about hardship, loss and a rift between family members caused by decisions that result in death. Natasha and Lisa are sisters living in Kiev, Ukraine. A German soldier shoots their Grandmother while she is protecting Natasha from the soldier about to rape Natasha. He is about to shoot Natasha when a Hungarian soldier shoots the German soldier.
Mark, the Hungarian soldier and Natasha fall in love. But Natasha does not
Jessica | JustReadingJess
Sep 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
4.5 Stars

Sisters of War by Lana Kortchik is a FANTASTIC historical fiction novel. I loved it so much. World War II is my favorite time period to read.

Sisters of War is about World War II in Kiev. The story spans from the Nazis entering Kiev until the end of the war. This was the first book I read about Kiev during World War II. I love reading unique stories from World War II and this was unique.

Full review:
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 dir
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 n
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 wa
Nov 24, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle, netgalley
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
Sisters of War is set in Ukraine during World War II. Natasha and her sister, Lisa, are two sisters whose lives are irrevocably changed by events beyond their control.

The story quickly becomes more of Natasha’s story. She falls in love with a Hungarian soldier who is part of the Nazi occupation force in Kiev. Their relationship effects Natasha’s entire family. Tension between the two sisters builds with devastating consequences.

The deprivation and hardship as a result of the war is vividly depi
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 tim ...more
Sep 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I love reading historical fiction set during WWII. This time, the story is set in Kiev, Ukraine around three months after Hitler attacked the Soviet Union - September 1941. The occupation that lasted a little over two years caused Kievans nightmarish terror and suffering, hunger and difficulties, prosecution and death. I was completely captivated right from the first page with the rich and detailed descriptions of the daily lives of the people in Kiev - as they live in fear, full of anxiety and ...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 gripped
The positive reviews that this book got have me a bit confused. It was one of the most depressing books about war that I have ever read. That means it was certainly one of the most realistic portrayals of war I have ever read. Kudos to the author on that aspect.

However, the love story and the Disney-esque endings to the different threads of the story were absurd and the relationships between the sisters didn't really ring true.

This is a re-print and at .99 cents (Amazon on Kindle) price makes
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.
Katrina king
Feb 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
OMG don’t know where I found this book but was so intrigued from start as my father was Ukrainian born 1911 from same towns mentioned in book , found himself marched out of his village by the Germans - eventually in an Italian prisoner of war camp then shipped to England after the war . What hardships he must of gone through in those days - most never spoke of .!!!! So interesting And sad for me ... must show my sister
Aug 26, 2020 rated it liked it
Love, loss and heartbreak descend upon sisters Lisa and Natasha Smirnova as German soldiers march into Kiev. Lisa and Natasha's world is shattered during the city's occupation and by the secrets they keep.

Lana Kortchik pens a heart-breaking tale about a lesser-known chapter in history when German forces occupied Ukraine. In order to survive, the sisters find themselves at war and their decisions threaten to tear their family apart.

Thank you to #NetGalley and the publisher for the early edition
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 historica ...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
This was a letdown, I went into it thinking I'd get a solid story, but instead all I got was a lot of high drama and talking and not much else.

I don't know if this book is intended to be YA or not? I can't see it saying that it is anywhere but man this read very YA to me and not in a good way. Don't get me wrong, I like YA books but this did not do it for me at all.

The characters are all pretty simple and never really do much in the way of growth or being interesting. Lana was very bland to me
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.
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. ...more
Oh my gosh, I was literally CRYING through the last 20 pages of this book! The ending simply pulled out all the stops, leaving me so bittersweetly content about finishing this novel. It’s funny too, because up until the end, the book had been tracking at a 3-star for me as “liked it”, but didn’t quite pop over to 4-star “really liked it”. I’ll do my fellow readers the courtesy of not ruining the ending by mentioning just why I cried through the end, but I will say that the conclusion of “Sisters ...more
The Scribblings
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.
Shirley McAllister
A War Torn Family

This was a very emotional and heartbreaking read. If I could give this book 6 stars I would. Once I started reading I wanted to read to the end. What a wonderful story of a families courage, love and survival in a hostile environment.

Natasha and Lisa are two sisters in Kiev Ukraine. When the war starts events take place which put a wedge between these two inseparable sisters. With their older brother away fighting and the arrest of their father by the Gestapo the Mother and you
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, t
Amy Specht
Dec 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars.
I really enjoyed this book and read it quite quickly. It is very sad for the most part but ironically the ending was almost too happy if that makes sense. I liked that it was a happy ending but I feel like in that era the outcomes wouldn’t be that great.
I’m impressed that this was her first novel. I can’t wait to see what else she will write and how she will improve.
One thing that didn’t really make sense to me though, was the name of the novel. I think I gathered from the title tha
Jul 18, 2020 rated it liked it
A bit too sappy for my taste.
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 t
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 sel
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 a ...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 be
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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 hi

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