Thursday 23 May 2019

Perilous Days - Kathryn Griffin Swegart - Brave Hearts Book 1

Perilous Days
Brave Hearts Book 1
Kathryn Griffin Swegart
ISBN 9781726223928

I picked up this book to give a read based on the recommendation from a friend, and because it has the Catholic Writer's Guild Seal of Approval Award. It was a very interesting book to read. It is historical fiction set during World War II. Unlike most books I have read in this genre this one is written from the perspective of a young man who is drafted into the German Army. I have read extensively about Canadians, the British, and even some Americans. So it was intriguing to read the story about a young man who is serving, but does not really want to.

In this story we follow Felix Culpa Schmidt, from his time in the Hitler youth, to the Russian front, and then back across to the battle in Italy. It follows him through his time in the military. Even while his family has hidden his brother who has a disability. His family has great faith, but he does not seem to have any nor to want any. But as all who been to war are changed, he too is changed. Felix and his dog Rolf find a guide and mentor in an older man who takes them under his wings.

The story is written for a tween audience of 9-14-year old’s. But at nearly 50, I greatly enjoyed it, and know that the book would be an excellent read for teens, or anyone with an interest in historical fiction, and specifically WWII. The story overlaps with many historical events, plots to kill Hitler, the White Rose Resistance, and more. And the end of the story is a short section of Real Heroes:

Father Karl Gereon Goldmann
Hans Scholl
Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg
Clemens August Graf von Galen

I have been familiar with many of them from some other reading over the last few years. This story weaves events about these real people into the fictional narrative wonderfully.

The story is well written. The characters are excellently written. The pace is great, and the descriptions, especially of some of the battles, and military life could be taken from history books I have read. It is a great read and I look forward to reading the next installment in the series.

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2019 Catholic Reading Plan!

Books by Kathryn Griffin Swegart:
Brave Hearts Series:
Perilous Days
Lucia of Fatima

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