THE TARTAR'S SWORD by Eric A. Kimmel


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After killing his Polish master in self defense, the young serf Hrisha has the courage -- and the breathtaking good luck -- to escape across the steppes, capture an important Tartar warrior and be adopted by a highminded Cossack leader with a beautiful, spirited daughter. As might be expected, Hrisha's subsequent career as a junior Cossack lacks nothing in adventure: training in riding and shooting under a half wild teacher, exotic sherbets and fearful hints of treachery in the tent of the wily Tartar, an interlude back at the Cossack farm and finally the great return to battle the Polish enemy. A conscientious, and reasonably convincing share of the dialogue is also devoted to justifying the cruelty that plays such a major part in cutthroat Cossack democracy. However, when the smoke dears with a direct hint that this is only the first of several fictional battles for Hrisha, one can only wish that the conflict for the steppes so lengthily outlined here had also been speedily resolved.

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 1974
Page count: 288pp
Publisher: Coward, McCann & Geoghegan