Free: Maid of Baikal

Free: Maid of Baikal
“A Russian war story that lives and breathes from a writer at the peak of his powers.” Kirkus Reviews

What if a Siberian Joan of Arc had rescued the White Armies at a critical point of the Russian Civil War in 1919?
Maid of Baikal presents an alternative outcome to that war through the intervention of Zhanna Dorokhina, a young woman from the shores of Siberia’s Lake Baikal.

Zhanna’s story, which parallels that of Joan of Arc in 1429, is seen through the eyes of Captain Ned du Pont, an officer with the American Expeditionary Force in Siberia. When Ned meets Zhanna, little does he know that she will turn the tide in the war, or that their relationship will leave such a deep impression on him.

Like the historical Joan, Zhanna displays a charisma that attracts a devoted following. Overcoming prejudice toward her gender, youth and religiosity, Zhanna gains an introduction to the Siberian dictator, Admiral Kolchak, and persuades him to dispatch her to

Uralsk, on the fringe of the Urals Front. To great surprise, Zhanna’s brigade captures Uralsk from the Red Army and then launches a daring raid that enables the Whites to hold the Urals passes.

By the time her forces reach the Volga, Zhanna has made powerful enemies. When captured at Kazan, no rescue ensues. Instead, the

Bolsheviks subject her to a show trial and a brutal execution. Fueled by outrage at her martyrdom, the Siberians go on to defeat the Red Army outside Moscow.

Maid of Baikal is a richly imagined speculation on the Russian Civil War that vividly portrays its violence, bitterness, and hardship, while telling the inspirational story of a determined young woman who perseveres in the face of overwhelming obstacles and dies for her beliefs, not knowing whether her ultimate goal will be achieved. Free on Kindle.

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