In the year 1740, with the whole of Europe balanced on the brink of war, a company of Austrian soldiers is sent to the village of Narutsin to defend the border with Prussia. But what should be a routine posting is quickly revealed to be anything but. The previous garrison is gone, the great house of Pokoj, where they’re to be billeted, a dilapidated ruin, and the people of Narutsin sullen and belligerent. Convinced the villagers are keeping secrets – and possibly consorting with the enemy – the commanding officer orders his junior lieutenant, Klaes, to investigate.
While Klaes sifts through the villagers’ truths, half-truths and lies, Drozde, the quartermaster’s woman, is making uncomfortable discoveries of her own – about herself, her man, and the house where they’ve all been thrown together. Because far from being the empty shell it appears to be, Pokoj is actually teeming with people. It’s just that they’re all dead. And the dead know things – about Drozde, about the history of Pokoj, and about the terrible event that is rushing towards them all, seemingly unstoppable.
The ghosts of Pokoj, the soldiers of the empress and the villagers of Narutsin are about to find themselves actors in a story that has been unfolding for centuries. It will end in blood – that much is written – but how much blood will depend on Klaes’ honour, Drozde’s skill and courage, and the keeping of an impossible promise…
It's a compelling, accomplished novel, deft with its characters and interesting with its themes
THE HOUES OF WAR AND WITNESS delivered a far more intriguing read than I was even expecting
Fantasy Book Review
It is... a brilliant story, a story about stories, about justice and hope, friendship and love between women
Liz Bourke Blogspot
There's an intriguingly playful approach to the storytelling. There are rewards to be had for the patient reader.
SCI FI NOW
A captivating book that carries you along on an entertaining journey.
If you like classical feeling fantasy tales with modern complexities, which is enchanting, captivating and enjoyable then The City silk and Steel should be top of your list.
Gavin Pugh, GAV READS