Citadels of Fire by L.K. Hill
Genres: Historical Fiction
In a world where danger hides in plain sight and no
one aspires to more than what they were born to,
Inga must find the courage to break the oppressive chains she’s been bound with since birth.
As a maid in the infamous Kremlin, life in 16th-century Russia is bleak and treacherous. That is, until Taras arrives. Convinced that his mother’s death when he was a boy was no mere accident, he returned from England to discover what really happened. While there, he gains favor from the Tsar later known as Ivan the Terrible, the most brutal and notorious ruler ever to sit upon the throne of Russia. Ivan allows him to take a servant, and to save Inga from a brutal boyar intent on raping her, Taras requests Inga to stay in his chambers.
Up against the social confines of the time, the shadowy conspiracies that cloak their history, and the sexual politics of the Russian Imperial court, Inga and Taras must discover their past, plan for their future, and survive the brutality that permeates life within the four walls that tower over them all, or they may end up like so many citizens of ancient Russia: nothing but flesh and bone mortar for the stones of the Kremlin wall.
- Character driven.
- Well written and easy to read.
- Drags in a few places.
There are several characters in the story that stood out to me. I think L.K. Hill does a fantastic job of managing them and giving them their own voice. There was never a moment where I felt that they blended together into one voice, a pet peeve of mine. I definitely enjoyed that Inga was an ordinary girl. She wasn't a special snowflake, and I was appreciative of that. I just wish she would have been more inquisitive!
I'm one that enjoys historical fiction. I don't have a critical eye when reading it, and I expect the author to take certain liberties within the facts to mold their own story. I think L.K. Hill gave us a great story by doing just that. If you enjoy historical fiction, in a Russian setting particularly, you'll enjoy Citadels of Fire. It's a wonderfully written story that I enjoyed getting lost in.
**I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. My thanks to Jolly Fish Press and L.K. Hill.
2. If you could choose any TV show to promote your book on, which would you choose?
Hmm. I'd probably go with Game of Thrones. Granted, that's a fantasy, not a historical fiction, but it has a medieval feel to it, with great characters and plenty of drama. I think people who like that will like my book.
3. Which chapter of [your book] was your favorite to write?
That's a tough one! I don't know that I have just one favorite. I did love writing the battle sequences, though. They're very challenging, but that's what makes them so fun!
4. What advice would you give to aspiring authors?
Never give up! The only difference between a published author and an unpublished one is persistence.
5. Choose one character from [your book] that you get to have dinner with. Who and why?
Hmm. Another tough one. I'd probably go with Taras or Nikolai. I think Ivan is the most fascinating character in the story, but I'd be a bit afraid to actually have a meal with him. The next best thing would be to get details about him second-hand from people that were around him all the time.
6. You can only read one book (that isn't one of yours) for the rest of your life. Which is it?
I'd probably pick Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness. I read that book about once a year anyway. One can sit and think about it and its implications for hours. It's influenced so much, especially as concerns the nature of good and evil and how they exist side by side in all of us. Definitely one I wouldn't want to live without.
7. Chocolate or vanilla?
8. Lastly, what's up next for you? Any projects we should be looking out for?
I'm constantly working on six projects at once. I have a crime drama series, Street Games, with the first book--Dark Remnants--out now and the second one--Desolate Mantle--coming out in the next month or so. I'm also putting out a dystopian series. Books 1 and 2 (Persistence of Vision and Quantum Entanglement) are both out, and I'm currently writing book 3. Finally, look for another crime fiction, The Botanist, to be out early next years, also courtesy of Jolly Fish Press.
Visit L.K. Hill at