Bookworm, writer, radio host—I blog about history, fiction, and publishing in the Internet Age. You can find the full blog on my website. This space is for books.
This book gets off to a slow start—far too much background information delivered before the reader has a reason to care. But after about 80 pages it does stop with the long digressions and move into the characters' present, at which point it picks up.
i'm still not quite sure what to make of this depiction of Imam Shamil's defense of Dagestan in what the Russians refer to as the Caucasus War, and especially Shamil's decision to yield his oldest son as a Russian hostage. But I probably will finish the book, which was far from certain when I began.