About Before the Fortress Falls
When rumors reach Vienna that an attack by the Ottoman army is imminent, Wilhelm von Schor, one of the emperor’s courtiers, prepares to evacuate his family—including his sister, Katja. But Katja’s reluctance to leave the city and the people she loves so well grows the farther the family carriage gets from her childhood home. When she learns that another brother, Xavier, is returning to Vienna with his musketeers, she decides to remain behind and face the shadow of war.
Katja soon reunites with Xavier and also with Toby, a dear friend from childhood. As Katja and Toby renew their friendship, an element of attraction builds on the comradery of their youth, and they quickly realize they have found something worth fighting for: love. But all too soon, the Ottomans encircle the city, blanketing its inhabitants in fear. Katja, Toby, and Xavier must each fulfill their new roles if they are to survive. In the overcrowded hospitals, below ground in the countermines, and on the ramparts defending the city walls, the three must fight for love, family, faith, and the survival of their city and everyone inside.
It has been a long time since a book has touched me as much as this one did. There are parts of this one that are hard to read. It’s set during a siege in Vienna. But the way the characters care for each other. And the way they survive. That’s the real story here.
I loved Katja! As everyone who can leaves Vienna, she feels a pull to stay. And she courageously leaves her family’s coach with her dad’s violin. And stays. This leaves Katja in a position she has never been in. She had to wear servants clothes, eat what everyone else ate, and try to serve in any way she can. I loved the growth all of this brought to her character.
And the way the author told this story through different points of view was genius. The reader gets to read points of view from both of Katja’s brothers, Wilhelm and Xavier. And from a childhood friend of Katja’s, Toby. That gives such a complete view of what happened to all of them. And it made the experience of reading it so rich.
This book made me feel. And that made the journey so worth it. You really need to read this one!
I was sent a copy of Before the Fortress Falls as a gift from the publisher. All opinions are my own.