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Gritty Battle Scenes and Enduring Love - an Editorial Review of "The Hussar's Duty"

Book Blurb:

A duty he believes in. A general he idolizes. But when doubts surface, will he stay true to honor or the chance to return to the woman he loves?

Poland, 1620. Jacek Dąbrowski scents war in the air. Away from the battlefield for five years, the renowned fighter yields to a growing itch and answers the general’s request to help lead the army against the Ottomans. But he’s torn between duty and family when the perils of combat force him to leave his defenseless wife behind.

Attending war councils and taking command of problematic noblemen, Jacek starts to doubt the mission and the sacrifice of being far from his loved ones. But his loyalty to his commander could put him on an irreversible path to disaster…

Will Jacek’s call to arms prove to be his death song?

The Hussar’s Duty is the breathtaking third book in The Winged Warrior Series historical fiction series and can be read as a standalone. If you like resilient heroes, gritty battle scenes, and enduring romance, then you’ll love Griffin Brady’s thrilling tale.

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Author Bio:

Griffin Brady was born and raised in Southeast Asia. After graduation, she moved back to the States to pursue a business degree and eventually became a real estate professional.

Her passion for writing first manifested itself in cartoon strips she wrote for her family’s entertainment. Since then, all sorts of stories and characters have lived in her imagination, elbowing one another for attention, so she’s giving them their voice on the written page.

Griffin Brady is an award-winning historical fiction author with a keen interest in the Polish Winged Hussars of the 16th and 17th centuries. She lives in Colorado, and when she’s not making up tales of adventure, she might be reading about distant places in distant times, traveling to those places, drinking wine, or listening to music—sometimes all at once!

Editorial Review:

Jacek gritted his teeth to keep from expressing his urge to throttle the youth. “Let me remind you that you have yet to rise from retainer to hussar. Besides, you must understand how to deal with matters of commerce. There is more to being a knight than swordplay.”

In the heart of historical turmoil and the shattering echoes of conflict, Griffin Brady's "The Hussar's Duty" unveils a vibrant tapestry of loyalty, love, and sacrifice within war-torn Poland. Set against the backdrop of the impending clash between the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and the Ottoman troops at the Battle of Cecora in 1620, this third installment of the Winged Warrior series delves deeper into the lives of Jacek Dabrowski, an esteemed Hussar commander, and his wife, Oliwia, an heiress entrenched in the legacy of her former husband's estates.

While Brady expertly constructs a narrative that stands on its own, offering glimpses into the characters' pasts from the preceding volumes ("The Heart of a Hussar" and "A Hussar's Promise"), the tale blooms vividly without demanding prior knowledge. Nevertheless, while a fuller understanding of Jacek and Oliwia's trials before their union enriches the reader's immersion, it is certainly not necessary to enjoy this enthralling story.

Amidst the serene facade of marital bliss as Jacek nurtures Oliwia's son from her previous marriage, the day to day strife common to family life weighs upon him, especilly when Oliwia's younger brother's rebel against Jacek's guidance. However, duty summons Jacek to the forefront of conflict, compelled to serve under his former commander, Stanislaw Zolkiewski, in defense against the impending Ottoman threat. The clash of loyalties unravels, testing Jacek's resolve as a Hussar and challenging the core of his love for family amidst the cauldron of Cecora's brutal battlefields.

What if... what if war was imminent? He had fulfilled his obligation to the Crown, yet deep in his soul he had not discharged his debt to his country. What if he were called upon to lead men into battle against the Turks? What if Zolkiewski himself asked Jacek to join his forces? Give his history with the hetman, and the fact that Biaska had holdings at the border, the possibility was gathering moss as it tumbled through his head. Meanwhile, the thrum in his bloodstream grew more raucous, and while anger was part of the current inside him, excitement was the more prevalent emotion.

The metamorphosis of Oliwia and Jacek under the duress of life-threatening circumstances forms the narrative's emotional nucleus. The author's meticulous research resonates through vibrant descriptions, encapsulating Polish culture, political tumult, and the visceral intensity of battle. Historical accuracy finds its pinnacle in the inclusion of a glossary and backgrounds of significant figures, enriching the reader's journey, which is truly a benefit in educating the reader. But this is much more than just a battle-filled story or history lesson, it is also a mesmerizing family saga, deftly blending romance with the heart-pounding action and adventure.

The narrative's initial pace sets the stage for a riveting crescendo, culminating in the tumultuous Battle of Cecora. Unforeseen twists, gut-wrenching moments of uncertainty, and the precariousness of survival intensify the narrative's grip. The latter half pierces with razor-sharp tension as Jacek confronts the dissonance between his principles as an honorable warrior and the disarray of the conflict. Themes of duty, love, political corruption, sacrifice, and camaraderie intertwine, engrossing readers in a reflection on the morality of war.

As one delves deeper, Brady's narrative prowess shines through. The delicate balance between duty-bound obligations and personal aspirations intertwines seamlessly, painting a portrait of Jacek's struggle for glory while safeguarding his cherished family, thus truly enriching and fleshing out his character.

Brady's skillful narrative construction, the evocative storytelling prowess will delight fans who enjoy the stories of Bernard Cornwell's celebrated sagas. The characters' palpable realism, coupled with the narrative's deft handling of violence and its impact on the knightly families, resonates with readers. Brady weaves a compelling love story amidst the turmoil, skillfully integrating it into the fabric of the plot without it coming across as mere 'thrown-in' embellishment. It feels necessary and appropriate.

He had witnessed far too many horrors in his thirty-two years to pretend tragedy would not befall his own. Only nights before, Moldavian villagers had gone to bed, secure in their abodes, and in one blow, delivered in seconds, their lives had been shattered.

The intricacies of 17th-century warfare on familial bonds and the entwined destinies of Jacek and Oliwia add depth to the story, embodying the essence of an enduring love amidst tumultuous times. The historical precision and incorporation of Polish expressions enrich the authenticity of the setting, offering readers an immersive journey into a lesser-explored era of historical fiction.

It is worthy to note that the narrative occasionally delves into introspection, balancing internal musings with the relentless pace of action, and while many readers might not like this, for this reviewer it enhanced the characters and helped to make them more real, thus providing a true connection. Nevertheless, the seamless integration of characters' pasts and the self-contained nature of the novel as part of a larger series stands commendable, ensuring a gratifying reading experience.

Griffin Brady's "The Hussar's Duty" emerges as a gripping historical adventure, meticulously researched and teeming with intrigue, danger, and political machinations. Transporting readers to an often-neglected setting in historical fiction, (of which this reviewer is grateful for the 'new knowledge' obtained, the history lesson!), the novel presents a distinctive stage for political maneuvering and heart-stopping conflicts. It beckons readers with its evocative narrative, ensuring a riveting journey through the annals of history.

"The Hussar's Duty" is highly recommended to aficionados of historical romantic adventures, extolling the enthralling depiction of Jacek's struggle to reconcile familial love with his pursuit of glory and honor as a Hussar serving the Polish sovereignty.


“The Hussar's Duty” by Griffin Brady receives five stars and the 'Highly Recommended' award of excellence from The Historical Fiction Company



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