“I loved everything about this book, whether it was based on a true story or not.” – The Naked Reviewers
“The world-building was quite interesting and it had me considering reading about the actual Haiduk movement in Eastern Europe.” – Starred Pages
“Historical fiction at its best!” – Goodreads reviewer
18th and 19th century Eastern Europe, during the rise of the Haiduk movement.
Sirma has spent the first 18 years of her life as a happy and hardworking Slavic girl in her quiet mountain village. One day, her world is shattered when she loses her two best friends to a gang of outlaws. The village elders do nothing because they fear the wrath of Hamza Bei – the head outlaw in the area.
Not long after, the outlaws attack her village, and Sirma is fed up with keeping quiet. On St. George’s day, she disguises herself as a man and takes the lead of her own Haiduk gang dedicated to protecting the mountain villages and searching for Hamza Bei to put a stop to his tyranny.
But the way of a Haiduk is harsh and merciless. Clashing with outlaws in life and death battles, surviving the mountain wilderness, and keeping her men from becoming the scoundrels they’ve sworn to fight are all challenges she must face. Not to mention, her comrades don’t even know she is a woman.
This is a historical fiction novel about the life of Sirma Strezova Krasteva, also known as Sirma voivode – a real historical figure who took part in the Haiduk movement between 1794 and 1818 in the most western parts of the then Ottoman Empire.