Book Review: Last Dance in Kabul by Ken Czech

last dance in kabul ken czech book review

Last Dance in Kabul Blog Tour

The synopsis on the back of the book:

The Ultimate Dance Between Love and War

When his superiors ignore his warnings of an impending Afghan insurrection in 1841, British army captain Reeve Waterton vows never to return to Kabul. But then he rescues strong-willed Sarah Kane from an ambush and his plans for civilian life and self-preservation unravel around him.

At first Reeve dislikes Sarah as much as she loathes him. She’s as impudent and disdainful of authority as he, plus she’s betrothed to his bitterest rival.

It’s only after Reeve’s closest friend is brutally murdered and the Afghan tribes explode in revolt that he and Sarah discover their desperate need for each other. When the retreating British army is caught between the jaws of Afghanistan’s blizzard-wracked mountain passes and hordes of vengeful tribesmen, Sarah and Reeve must rely on their skills, courage, and blossoming love just to survive.

  • Publication Date: August 2, 2018
  • Fireship Press
  • Paperback & eBook; 306 Pages
  • Genre: Action & Adventure/Historical/Romance/War & Military

Praise for Last Dance in Kabul

“Reeve Waterton, a dashing rogue, is a true hero who stands among the most valiant officers of British fiction. Sarah Kane is an assertive woman assured of her own mind yet vulnerable in her heart. Together they spark the blaze that energizes Last Dance in Kabul.” —Rex Griffin, historical writer

“You won’t find two more compelling characters than Reeve Waterton and Sarah Kane. I love them. I rooted for them to survive and work things out from the third chapter until the exciting conclusion. Their story was so expertly woven between survival and romance that I found it difficult to pull myself away from it.” —Ray Simmons, for Reader’s Favorite

“Last Dance in Kabul is a war story; a story of life and death; a story of love and hate, and it is a very good read. I was pulled back to 1841 and dropped in the middle of the Afghan insurrection.” –Trudi LoPreto for Reader’s Favorite

“[The] character development is impeccable and the conflict gives the story its powerful depth and emotional intensity. Last Dance in Kabul is a captivating, well-plotted and beautifully paced novel.” —Christian Sia, for Reader’s Favorite

last dance in kabul ken czech book review

Why I Chose This Book

When I was sent an email to opt-in to review this book and read the synopsis I knew I had to take part. It just sounded like such a unique book about a topic I have never read on before. 

First Initial Thoughts

Before reading this book I knew British occupied India during the 19th century and it was not a pleasant occupation from historical accounts. I did not know that they also occupied the middle east, particularly Afghanistan. Although the characters are fictional, the uprising in 1841/1842 did actually occur. It was one of the bloodiest and most devastating battles the country has faced. 

Sarah Kane is traveling to Kabul, Afghanistan with her sister Connie to wed her fiance Liewellyn Rigby who is serving with the British. During this time, it was almost unheard of women traveling in a war-torn country alone. Sarah and Connie are complete opposites. Connie being more domestic and docile while Sarah is witty and stubborn. However, I thought their personalities complemented each other well. I first got a little annoyed with Sarah because she often got herself and others in trouble because of her "mouth" and naive decisions. 

Reeve Waterton - for some reason I pictured him to look like Christian Bale in Batman (haha). He was kind of a troublemaker but he was aware of what was going on around him - and very street smart. He tried to warn his superiors of the impending Afghan insurrection but of course, they didn't listen. Why do they never listen?!! 

When Reeve and Sarah first met - it was absolutely hilarious. Let's just say Sarah was not expecting to meet Reeve in such an indiscreet way. They absolutely loathed each other and I loved their little banter. But they soon learn to get to know each other better and grow closer when Reeve rescues her caravan from an attack. 

Setting

I honestly, don't really know too much about Afghanistan's history (beyond our own history with them). Ken did an amazing job with his research. I was immediately swept into the mid 19th century Afghanistan. I learned a lot about the landscape and could immediately imagine it in my mind. I had no idea that it snowed (like a lot) there! 

Final Thoughts

This book was absolutely phenomenal. I could absolutely see this translated over to the big screen. I definitely think it would be nominated for best picture or best drama. 

When Sarah does finally reach Kabul we get to meet Lew Rigby. What I appreciated is that Ken didn't make him out to be a jealous or bad man. He was kind, considerate, and actually loved Sarah. I think if Sarah didn't meet Reeve, she would go on to be with Lew. But she wouldn't get to have that adventurous life she deeply desired to have. So it made me kind of feel bad that Sarah really didn't love him in return. But of course, I was still rooting for Reeve! 

Speaking of their relationship. I think that he developed it well. Even though a lot of romantic stories start with the two main characters hating each other, I actually liked how Ken did it for this story. They hated each other for valid reasons and I think they just miss understood each other. 

The Battle scenes were well done and I appreciated that Ken didn't go too much into the gruesome details. The story emphasized the true effects of war. The heartbreak and trauma people experience. Not only that but what it also does to a country and how it affects it for years to come. 

Would I Recommend? 

Yes, most definitely. Please be aware that there are mild violence and war battles throughout the story. 

About The Author

Ken Czech

Dr. Ken Czech is a retired history professor and an internationally recognized authority on the historical literature of exploration and sport. His passion, however, has turned to writing fiction. He and his wife Mary live in Central Minnesota on an abandoned granite quarry.

For more information, please visit Ken’s website. You can also find him on FacebookAmazon and Goodreads

GIVEAWAY TIME!!

The publisher will be giving away a paperback copy of Last Dance in Kabul! To enter, please enter via the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on July 31st. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to US residents only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

 

Good luck on winning the giveaway! Don't you agree that this could potentially make a good movie? 

the caffeinated bibliophile

NOTE: I was sent a copy of this book from the publisher to review. All opinions are my own.