Citadels of fire, p.1
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       Citadels of Fire, p.1

           L.K. Hill
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Citadels of Fire

  Kremlins 1

  Citadels of Fire

  A novel

  By L.K. Hill

  Foreword by Dr. Larae Larkin

  Copyright 2014 L.K. Hill

  Thank you for downloading this ebook. This book remains the copyrighted material of the author, and may not be redistributed to others for commercial or non-commercial purposes. If you enjoyed this book, please encourage your friends to download their own copy from their favorite authorized retailer. Thank you for your support.

  Copyright © 2014 by L.K. Hill

  Cover art © Chris Loke 2014

  First Trade Paperback Edition: May 2014

  All rights reserved. Except as permitted under the U.S. Copyright Act of 1976, no part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, or stored in a database or retrieval system, without the prior permission of the publisher.

  Table of Contents

  Title Page

  Copyright Info


  Historical Note


  Ivan Grozny


  Chapter 1

  Chapter 2

  Chapter 3

  Chapter 4

  Chapter 5

  Chapter 6

  Chapter 7

  Chapter 8

  Chapter 9

  Chapter 10

  Chapter 11

  Chapter 12

  Chapter 13

  Chapter 14

  Chapter 15

  Chapter 16

  Chapter 17

  Chapter 18

  Chapter 19

  Chapter 20

  Chapter 21

  Chapter 22

  Chapter 23

  Chapter 24

  Chapter 25

  Chapter 26

  Chapter 27

  Chapter 28

  Chapter 29

  Chapter 30

  Chapter 31

  Chapter 32

  Chapter 33

  Chapter 34

  Chapter 35

  Chapter 36

  Chapter 37

  Chapter 38

  Chapter 39

  Chapter 40

  Chapter 41

  Author's Note

  Also by L.K. Hill

  Connect With the Author

  About the Author

  To my dad—my first reader, most ardent

  supporter, and biggest cheerleader.

  People who don’t believe in heroes

  have obviously never met him.

  I love you, Dad!

  Historical Note

  The history in this book is based on true events. Ivan the Terrible is one of the most well-known and notorious leaders in Russian history. He was the first leader of unified Russia to crown himself Tsar, and his marriage resulted in the elevation of the Romanov family—the descendants of whom would remain royalty for many years, culminating in the notorious fate of Nicholas and his family during the Bolshevik revolution just prior to World War I.

  As a deep respecter of history, I’ve tried to stay true to it as much as I could. It’s important to note, however, that I have collapsed the timeline a bit. Things in this book happen more quickly than they did in the actual history, so the dates may not always line up correctly. I’ve taken these liberties in order to serve the story, though I did my best to remain true to the events and characters as they are described in the annals.

  LK Hill


  Liesel Hill’s latest novel, Book I of the Kremlin trilogy, Citadel of Fire, is an intriguing and gripping story of life in Muscovite Russia under the reign of Ivan IV (Terrible). She was a student of mine in Russian history classes at Weber State University in Ogden, Utah, where she was an exceptional scholar and was thoroughly fascinated by tsarist history. Since her graduation Liesel has kept in touch with me on her research and progress. We have discussed politics, cultural customs, religion, as well as the historical dynamics of the imperial regimes of the Muscovite monarchs and, in particular, Ivan the Terrible.

  In her research for this novel, I have never failed to be impressed with her attention to detail, such as customs and social mores that have played such a significant role in Russian life. From the lowest classes to the nobility and royal family, Liesel has described her characters, their social roles, their aspirations and restrictions in vivid detail. She has given life and reality to a country and era that has, to a large extent, remained a mystery. The lives and regimes of early Russia have primarily been recorded only by the Orthodox clergy. Very little of the lives, misfortunes, struggles and local culture of the peasants, city workers, and lower classes have been revealed. Not until the nineteenth century were inroads made into the lives of the common masses.

  With the era of glasnost and perestroika under the Gorbachev government the veil of secrecy has been lifted. Through openness and some democratic reforms early history, politics and social conditions have been exposed and made available to the world. Misperceptions and misunderstandings have now been replaced by truth and reality.

  Liesel’s novel intermingles several primary actors from an orphan girl to boyars, to Ivan the Terrible. However, the story centers primarily around Inga, the young orphan who becomes a house servant in the estate of the royal family just shortly before the birth of the future tsar, Ivan IV. Her youth against this backdrop takes many turns, showing the various customs, class distinctions, superstitions, and political intrigue. She meets a young man of mixed parentage, Taras, who has fled England to live in Russia with relatives there. Taras meets and falls in love with Inga, and throughout the remainder of the saga will play a major role in Ivan’s military officer corps.

  Although Inga and the other servants demonstrate their loyalty to the royal family, and in particular Ivan, Taras recognizes the potential brutality of the young tsar. The intrigues throughout the story reveal the precarious lifestyle that all who serves the emperor is subject to. While considered a man of God, Ivan’s more brutal nature emerges. Yet, the prevailing opinion among courtiers, citizenry, and commoners is that his divinity is vital to the security of the state.

  The author describes in vivid detail the punishments inflicted on disloyal citizens and the great battle as the Russians under Ivan’s leadership defeat the Tatars in the Battle of Kazan.

  This brutality from Ivan’s time to the Soviet era and even to the present illustrates a common thread in Russian power, that of absolute rule, centralized control, and blind subordination to the powers, whether Tsar or Commissar.

  Dr. LaRae Larkin

  Associate Professor–Weber State University

  Russian History

  East European History

  Ivan Grozny

  Lightning strikes the Kremlin Wall

  A baby wails at birth

  Learns survival, climbs through intrigue, hides in deceit

  The infant cries.

  Village-pillage; innocent-ravage

  Young animals on spikes

  The child laughs.

  Love. Matrimony.

  Tranquility is almost skin deep…


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