Loading... Please wait...
  • The Boy Who Wanted Wings by James Conroyd Martin

The Boy Who Wanted Wings by James Conroyd Martin

$9.95
SKU:
BK010
Weight:
1.20 LBS
Shipping:
Calculated at checkout
Quantity:

Product Description

Paperback

CONDITION: Used / Excellent

Aleksy, a dark-complexioned Tatar raised by a Polish peasant family, holds in his heart the wish is to become a Polish hussar, a lancer who carries into battle a device attached to his back that holds dozens of eagle feathers. As a Tatar and as a peasant, this is an unlikely quest. When he meets Krystyna, the daughter of the noble who owns the land that his parents work, he falls hopelessly in love. But even though she returns his love, race and class differences make this quest as impossible as that of becoming a hussar. Under the most harrowing and unlikely circumstances, one day Aleksy must choose between his dreams. "A gripping, transporting story of self-determination set against fate." ~Kirkus Reviews

 
On the eve of September 11, 1683, a massive Muslim Ottoman horde was besieging the gates of the imperial city of Vienna and had been doing so since the previous July. Now, however, they were just hours from capturing this capital of the Holy Roman Empire. The Turks' intent was to bring Islam to all of Europe, and this city was seen by East and West alike as the gateway. With the window of time closing for Vienna, the walls were about to be breached on September 12 when the vastly outnumbered Christian coalition, led by Polish King Jan III Sobieski and his famous winged hussars, descended Kahlenberg Mountain to engage the Turks in an attempt to lift the siege. As crucial and consequential as the 1066 Battle of Hastings, the ensuing battle changed the course of European history.
 

Editorial Reviews

Review

Historical Novels Review
"This classic different-worlds love affair provides the human grounding for a larger story replete with well-researched period details about the struggle of 17th-century Europe against the forces of Islam, and Martin is a skilled enough storyteller to keep the whole narrative moving forward briskly to a very satisfying conclusion. The author has written a pitch-perfect follow-up to his Poland Trilogy."

"A poor archer in medieval Poland takes aim at the love of his life in this epic novel from Martin. The anxious Aleksy Gazdecki, a young farmhand, embodies the ethnic and political tensions of Europe during the reign of the Ottoman Empire. Born to a Tatar family, he was taken in by Poles and raised a Christian, living with his adoptive family under the leadership of Lord Halicki. Despite his background, Aleksy longs to showcase his talent in archery as a hussar, or soldier, in the service of King Jan Sobieski. He has an unfortunate run-in with Lord Halicki's sons and realizes that the alluring girl whom he'd seen earlier is their sister, Lady Krystyna. He and she exchange words during a chance encounter; her brothers, though, don't take kindly to him, and a fight ensues, leading Aleksy and his family to fear Lord Halicki's wrath. But after a frightening summons, they learn the Lord's mind is elsewhere, on the incoming siege of Vienna-and by extension, the rest of Christian Europe-by the Muslim Ottomans. Aleksy is assigned to a humiliating role as retainer for Krystyna's brother Roman, and he's plagued by the prospect of being unable to fight for Poland on his own or pursue Krystyna's affection. Meanwhile Krystyna tries to avoid her arranged marriage to Lord Nardolski long enough to find Aleksy again. The believability of this novel, which is sprinkled with period-specific details, is never in question. Martin sets the stage so tidily that the plight of Aleksy and Krystyna, who desire to move beyond the social classes that keep them apart, transcends the historical moment. Underneath the story of the sweethearts' labyrinthine struggle lingers the question of what it means to fight for one's country but against one's relatives-a situation in which Aleksy, as a Tatar, finds himself. Sprawling but never slow, the plot moves naturally from battle to intimacy and back again. A gripping, transporting story of self-determination set against fate." 

Kirkus Reviews

"Amidst class and religious warfare, this alternately romantic and brutal love story is also a reminder that the struggle between Christianity and Islam is a great deal older than 2001. Culminating in the re-creation of the Siege of Vienna in 1683, where monstrous killing was perpetrated in the name of God and power, this is a meticulously researched and convincingly written tale of love's triumph that will surprise historical fiction readers with its little known historical backdrop. In an ethnically diverse Poland that is now long gone, the main characters struggle with loyalties to family, race, and country as they come to understand that no fear or evil is unchangeable." 
~Leonard Kniffel, Past Editor in Chief of American Libraries Director, Polish American Librarians Association
 
"History comes alive in this captivating saga of a desperate war to stave off conquest and extermination. A young man with dreams of greatness is swept up amid the deadly clash, but will he have to sacrifice love itself to become an elite defender of his homeland? The Boy Who Wanted Wings is a powerful, emotionally moving story, highly recommended."
~MIDWEST BOOK REVIEW
 
"Characters are complex, well developed, and consistent. Their
emotional lives are exposed even as the horrors of war loom. The Boy Who Wanted Wings is an excellent read whether one's preferred genre is historical fiction or not."
~PORTLAND BOOK REVIEW


"A poor archer in medieval Poland takes aim at the love of his life in this epic novel from Martin. The anxious Aleksy Gazdecki, a young farmhand, embodies the ethnic and political tensions of Europe during the reign of the Ottoman Empire. Born to a Tatar family, he was taken in by Poles and raised a Christian, living with his adoptive family under the leadership of Lord Halicki. Despite his background, Aleksy longs to showcase his talent in archery as a hussar, or soldier, in the service of King Jan Sobieski. He has an unfortunate run-in with Lord Halicki's sons and realizes that the alluring girl whom he'd seen earlier is their sister, Lady Krystyna. He and she exchange words during a chance encounter; her brothers, though, don't take kindly to him, and a fight ensues, leading Aleksy and his family to fear Lord Halicki's wrath. But after a frightening summons, they learn the Lord's mind is elsewhere, on the incoming siege of Vienna-and by extension, the rest of Christian Europe-by the Muslim Ottomans. Aleksy is assigned to a humiliating role as retainer for Krystyna's brother Roman, and he's plagued by the prospect of being unable to fight for Poland on his own or pursue Krystyna's affection. Meanwhile Krystyna tries to avoid her arranged marriage to Lord Nardolski long enough to find Aleksy again. The believability of this novel, which is sprinkled with period-specific details, is never in question. Martin sets the stage so tidily that the plight of Aleksy and Krystyna, who desire to move beyond the social classes that keep them apart, transcends the historical moment. Underneath the story of the sweethearts' labyrinthine struggle lingers the question of what it means to fight for one's country but against one's relatives-a situation in which Aleksy, as a Tatar, finds himself. Sprawling but never slow, the plot moves naturally from battle to intimacy and back again. "A gripping, transporting story of self-determination set against fate." Kirkus Reviews "Amidst class and religious warfare, this alternately romantic and brutal love story is also a reminder that the struggle between Christianity and Islam is a great deal older than 2001. Culminating in the re-creation of the Siege of Vienna in 1683, where monstrous killing was perpetrated in the name of God and power, this is a meticulously researched and convincingly written tale of love's triumph that will surprise historical fiction readers with its little known historical backdrop. In an ethnically diverse Poland that is now long gone, the main characters struggle with loyalties to family, race, and country as they come to understand that no fear or evil is unchangeable." Leonard Kniffel, Past Editor in Chief of American Libraries Director, Polish American Librarians Association

Historical Novels Review

"This classic different-worlds love affair provides the human grounding for a larger story replete with well-researched period details about the struggle of 17th-century Europe against the forces of Islam, and Martin is a skilled enough storyteller to keep the whole narrative moving forward briskly to a very satisfying conclusion. The author has written a pitch-perfect follow-up to his Poland Trilogy."

"A poor archer in medieval Poland takes aim at the love of his life in this epic novel from Martin. The anxious Aleksy Gazdecki, a young farmhand, embodies the ethnic and political tensions of Europe during the reign of the Ottoman Empire. Born to a Tatar family, he was taken in by Poles and raised a Christian, living with his adoptive family under the leadership of Lord Halicki. Despite his background, Aleksy longs to showcase his talent in archery as a hussar, or soldier, in the service of King Jan Sobieski. He has an unfortunate run-in with Lord Halicki's sons and realizes that the alluring girl whom he'd seen earlier is their sister, Lady Krystyna. He and she exchange words during a chance encounter; her brothers, though, don't take kindly to him, and a fight ensues, leading Aleksy and his family to fear Lord Halicki's wrath. But after a frightening summons, they learn the Lord's mind is elsewhere, on the incoming siege of Vienna-and by extension, the rest of Christian Europe-by the Muslim Ottomans. Aleksy is assigned to a humiliating role as retainer for Krystyna's brother Roman, and he's plagued by the prospect of being unable to fight for Poland on his own or pursue Krystyna's affection. Meanwhile Krystyna tries to avoid her arranged marriage to Lord Nardolski long enough to find Aleksy again. The believability of this novel, which is sprinkled with period-specific details, is never in question. Martin sets the stage so tidily that the plight of Aleksy and Krystyna, who desire to move beyond the social classes that keep them apart, transcends the historical moment. Underneath the story of the sweethearts' labyrinthine struggle lingers the question of what it means to fight for one's country but against one's relatives-a situation in which Aleksy, as a Tatar, finds himself. Sprawling but never slow, the plot moves naturally from battle to intimacy and back again. "A gripping, transporting story of self-determination set against fate." Kirkus Reviews "Amidst class and religious warfare, this alternately romantic and brutal love story is also a reminder that the struggle between Christianity and Islam is a great deal older than 2001. Culminating in the re-creation of the Siege of Vienna in 1683, where monstrous killing was perpetrated in the name of God and power, this is a meticulously researched and convincingly written tale of love's triumph that will surprise historical fiction readers with its little known historical backdrop. In an ethnically diverse Poland that is now long gone, the main characters struggle with loyalties to family, race, and country as they come to understand that no fear or evil is unchangeable." Leonard Kniffel, Past Editor in Chief of American Libraries Director, Polish American Librarians Association

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

 

About the Author

James Conroyd Martin is the award-winning author of PUSH NOT THE RIVER, a novel based on the diary of a countess in 1790s Poland; AGAINST A CRIMSON SKY, which continues the family saga into the Napoleonic era; and The WARSAW CONSPIRACY, detailing the young Polish cadets' rising against the mighty Russia. He holds degrees from St. Ambrose and DePaul universities. After teaching English and Creative Writing for many years in the Chicago area, he has moved to Portland, Oregon, where he continues to write. Sign up for an occasional announcement at JamesCMartin.com.

 

 

 

  • Paperback: 358 pages

  • Publisher: Hussar Quill Press; 1 edition (August 25, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0997894504
  • ISBN-13: 978-0997894509
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds 

Find Similar Products by Category

Product Reviews

This product hasn't received any reviews yet. Be the first to review this product!

Write your own product review




Recent Updates

Newsletter



Click the button below to add the The Boy Who Wanted Wings by James Conroyd Martin to your wish list.