REVIEW: Savaged Lands - Lana Kortchik


It's obvious from before the first page that Savaged Lands is a very personal story. For the author, Lana Kortchik, growing up in the location of her story must have helped her communicate the spirit of the place. The protagonist, Natasha, lives in the Ukrainian capital under the Nazi occupation with her parents, brother, sister, and grandparents. I knew from the onset that not everyone was making it out alive - definitely not in a family that big.

I enjoyed the familial relationships and sub-plot of romance which gave more of a background to the real people who endured this history. But other than that, I wasn't hugely blown away by the story and found it to be somewhat... average.

This part of the review may contain some spoilers so please look away now if you don't want the plot ruined before you've had a chance to read it!

Goodreads tells me that Lana Kortchik's favourite author is Paullina Simons and this was completely obvious from the plot of Savaged Lands. If you've read The Bronze Horseman and then Savaged Lands, you will know what I mean. Both follow a young woman during this tumultuous period of the Second World War, who falls in love with a man she shouldn't and undergoes loss, grief and misery before being freed at the end of the novel. So while I really enjoyed Savaged Lands, I could only rate it 3/5 on Goodreads because it felt like I'd read the book before. I haven't continued The Bronze Horseman series just yet but I'm a bit apprehensive as I don't want something too same-y.

With that said, I think Lana Kortchik is a talented writer who knows exactly how to conjure a believable and vivid story. The characters had depth and I grew to care for them, particularly Nikolai, and the settings were all described in a way that was easy to follow. I hope Kortchik keeps writing and produces something more unique in the future.

If you want to buy a copy you can do so here.

As always, let me know if you've read this book and what you thought of it! 

Love, Jess

I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review.

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