The main character of the book, the young nobleman Jan Skrzetuski, or Pan Jan for short, is caught in the middle of the beginning Cossack uprising under the legendary Bogdan Chmelnitzky. Along the way he also falls in love with the beautiful princess Helena, who is also desired by a Cossack officer.
In the course of the book the conflict begins to take serious forms, Pan Jan meets most of the main characters on his travels and missions through Eastern Europe. Personal rivalries, chases on horseback, duels, drinking bouts, epic dialogues and great battles (which no normal European has ever heard of before) are also part of the book. As a reader, you live the tragic story of the kingdom, which in the end is destroyed by internal conflicts. This civil war, by the way, caused several million deaths - when reading the book it becomes clear why.
Maybe it is necessary to warn potential readers that 17th century warfare in this region was extremely brutal and unless you can tolerate occasional descriptions of horrifying activities, perhaps you should not choose this novel. In the course of prosecuting this revolution or attempting to put it down local villages and Manor homes will be torched. There will be stories of widespread use of violence including the use of stakes, fire and torture to murder populations. Both sides will overindulge in the spilling of innocent blood. But if you can stand that you will be benefitted with excellent characterizations, an exceptionally tense and well-plotted love story intertwined with the basic plot.
"The Battle" is the second book of the epic trilogy WITH FIRE AND SWORD by Nobel Prize winner Henryk Sienkiewicz. It deals with the uprising of the Cossacks against the Poles in 1648. It is a world forgotten in Central Europe, which was ruled by a kingdom in personal union (Poland-Lithuania). The size of this second part of the first trilogy of The EASTERN KINGDOM Series is about 500 pages.