Monday, February 23, 2015
Book Review: Fire and Steel
Fire and Steel, A Generation Rising is the first book in Gerald Lund's new series that follows two families through the years just before the first World War. (I heard it's going to go through WWII as well.) This book is setting everything up for the series and introduces us to the German family living in Bavaria right before the events leading up to World War I.
We meet the Eckhardt family who have a few daughters and are anxious to have a son to carry on the name and the dairy farm that has been in their family for generations. They finally have the long-awaited son and while the Dad wants to name him Otto von Bismarck (yikes) the mom convinces him that their new son should be named after his father. So they settle on Hans Otto.
Hans is a coddled heir who is given every advantage his family can afford. He is sent to the best school in another town, he owns the first personal bicycle in town, and he's also a genius at pretty much anything he puts his mind to. He takes things apart, like the cuckoo clock and his bike, to see how things work. His parents see his brilliance and know that he's destined to be more than a dairy farmer. He ends up leaving their village and gets swept away in the events that lead to Word War I and his family is also dealing with what's happening to the life they've always known.
There is so much historical detail (sometimes a teeny bit long-winded, but so interesting!) but there are chapter notes that make things clear in separating the fact from the fiction. I really enjoyed learning more about this time in history without it feeling like a history book. The ending had a twist and was a bit of a cliffhanger, (can't wait for the next one to see how this turns out!) but since this is the start of a series that is to be expected, I suppose. I thought the last half was a faster pace than the first half, but it was quick reading overall. I loved the setting and could really envision the Bavarian town and the Eckhardt family. I also loved learning more about German culture and how it would have been before the Great War. I'm excited to see where this series goes!
You can download your copy here for $10.49
Here's the back copy:
The strongest steel is forged in the hottest flames. From master storyteller Gerald N. Lund comes a new blockbuster series chronicling the lives of two families who will face some of the most turbulent times in history as they are tried to their very cores. Will they be tempered and strengthened by the hammering blows, will they bend to the point of breaking, or will they completely shatter?
As volume one begins, life could not be more promising for the Eckhardts. They finally have a son, Hans, the male heir they have longed for and a child of such brilliance and promise that his success seems certain. But as youthful Hans’s ambition takes him away from his family and their small Bavarian village, the winds of unrest in Europe are about to erupt into the greatest war the world has ever known.
Kicking off a story that will cross generations—and continents—the Eckhardts must brace themselves to weather the storms and turmoil that lie ahead. Only through sheer determination and fortitude will they be able to pass through the refiner’s fire and come out stronger and more united than ever before.