Rosie’s #Bookreview of Sixteenth Century Russian #HistFic The Golden Lynx by @cplesley

The Golden Lynx (Legends of the Five Directions, #1)The Golden Lynx by C.P. Lesley

4 stars

The Golden Lynx is historical fiction set in sixteenth century Russia. This is book one of the Legends Of The Five Directions series. It opens in Kasimov, a principality of Moscow, governed by Bulat Khan. Two of his children are caught in a forest ambush by Russian soldiers, where one child is killed.

Bulat quickly responds with a revenge attack on Boris Kolychev, the man believed to have killed his son. To prevent further vengeance deaths, a truce is called and a marriage arranged between Bulat’s daughter, Nassan, and Boris’ brother, Daniil.

Sixteen-year-old Nassan has no plans to be a docile and obedient wife, as she grew up listening to legends of heroic woman and has trained as a warrior. Left by her family in Moscow, she struggles to fit in. When her husband leaves only days after their marriage, she becomes bored with domestic duties. Nightmares keep her awake at night, so she puts her warrior skills into good practice on the streets. Soon rumours of a vigilante, who helps the people, spread through the city. But Nassan later finds herself embroiled in a political kidnapping; will she be able to save herself and the victims?

Set during the childhood of the future Ivan the Terrible, this story deals with the civil in-fighting. This was caused when Grand Prince Vasily III died, leaving only minors who were too young to rule the nation. The author provides a useful list of characters and historical notes at the front of the book, which I actually found more useful once I had read the story and understood the characters.

I enjoyed learning about Nassan’s beliefs and her upbringing on the Steppes, and comparing it to the Russian ways. The story flowed well and I found myself eager to keep reading. Overall a good solid example of this genre and start of a series.

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Book description


Russia, 1534. Elite clans battle for control of the toddler who will become their first tsar, Ivan the Terrible. Amid the chaos and upheaval, a masked man mysteriously appears night after night to aid the desperate people.

Or is he a man?

Sixteen-year-old Nasan Kolychev is trapped in a loveless marriage. To escape her misery, she dons boys’ clothes and slips away under cover of night to help those in need. She never intends to do more than assist a few souls and give her life purpose. But before long, Nasan finds herself caught up in events that will decide the future of Russia.

And so, a girl who has become the greatest hero of her time must decide whether to save a baby destined to become the greatest villain of his.

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