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A Waltz With Traitors

"It's just that sometimes it's hard to remember there was ever a time before the war. Peace-I'm not sure I'll remember what to do with it."


The Former Russian Empire, 1918

Czech soldier Filip Sedlák never wanted to fight for the Austro-Hungarian Empire. So at the first opportunity, he defected to the Russians. Now he and others like him have formed the Czechoslovak Legion. Their goal: leave the chaos of Russia, sail to France, and help the Allies defeat the Central Powers, thereby toppling a hated empire and winning an independent Czechoslovakia.

With the fall of the tsar, Nadia Linskaya’s life is in ruins. Her family is dead, her lands are confiscated, and her aristocratic world is gone forever. But Nadia is determined to elude the Bolshevik agent who destroyed her family and find a way to survive in this changed world.

When Nadia takes refuge with the Czechoslovak Legion, the last thing she expects is an ally. But when Filip proposes a sham marriage to ensure her safe passage across Siberia, she takes it. Neither Filip nor Nadia expect real love, not when the legion has to take over the longest railroad in the world—and then hold it against Bolshevik counterattacks, partisan sabotage, Allied intrigue, and a set of brutal Siberian winters. At risk is the future of Czechoslovakia, the fate of Russia—and their hearts.

thoughts & feelings

You know those authors that you wait, sometimes not so patiently, for them to announce a new release? Then when they make the announcement you immediately put it in your calendar and keep an eye out for ANY information the author shares? Well, that's been my life for about a year. A.L. Sowards is one of my favorite historical fiction authors and when she announced A Waltz With Traitors, along with its tag line I was hooked and needed a copy of it at that moment. I'm not kidding when I say that I have "stalked" her social media looking for any hints/teasers she may release into the world. Then one day I was surprised to find a copy in my mailbox! BEST DAY EVER!

A Waltz With Traitors was everything I hoped it would be and more, if you can believe it. I was immediately captured by the story of the Czechoslovak Legion and was actually sucked into a Google image search for a few hours, just after reading the prologue. The story of this Legion is absolutely incredible, heartbreaking, and full of hope, love, and faith. Sowards did a phenomenal job bringing their story to life and helping me understand their hopes and purposes for fighting for a country all their own.

You guys know that I am a sucker for books with bonus features and A.L. Sowards never disappoints. A Waltz With Traitor's is packed with them! Contained within its beautiful pages are a sketch of our main man and leading lady, TWO maps, a glossary and historical background, and an author's note. If you've never read an author's note before I strongly suggest it. Author's provide so much insight, information, and fun facts in these paragraphs.

The maps above are from the book. They were created by Briana Shawcroft.

One of my favorite parts of this novel was the multiple perspectives. Not only do we see parts of the story from our main man and leading lady, but we also get to see parts of the war from two other Legion soldiers. The jump in perspective helped to fill in some information, provide some really intense moments, and give a sense of brotherhood and inclusion for the Legion and their families. I loved that I was able to get to know some of Filip's friends and fellow Legionnaires better through their own viewpoints and that, in turn, they provided a different point of view for me to get to know Filip and Nadia.

Lastly, I love our leading lady, Nadia. Nadia Linskaya was born into wealth and as a result her family has been labeled as traitors and enemies to the revolution. Throughout the novel, Nadia finds herself hiding from Bolshevik agents in order to survive. I love that throughout her trials Nadia stays proud of her family and heritage. Her experiences help her see the plight of those that served her family, and other citizens who were of a lower class. However, she doesn't become ashamed to have been born a Russian aristocrat. I feel like oftentimes characters that we were born into a higher situation have an "awakening" and suddenly feel ashamed of their families and their lives. I love that this wasn't the case for Nadia. She is able to accept that people should have been treated differently while still loving her family and being thankful for all that she had.


The giveaway starts March 7 and ends April 30.

the prizes

  • $40 gift card to a bookstore of winner's choice.

  • Signed print copy of Before the Fortress Falls. U.S. mailing addresses only.

  • Advance copies of Codes of Courage for two winners. U.S. mailing addresses only.

  • Kindle copies of Of Sword and Shadow for two winners. Winner must have an account.

  • A Waltz with Traitors swag packs for three winners. This includes signed bookplate, bookmark, art print, vintage map, and exclusive stickers.

how to enter

The giveaway is being run via rafflecopter:

To enter to win you can:

  • Like or comment on any book tour post, look for the hashtag #AWaltzWithTraitors in the post or comments

  • Follow A.L. Sowards on social media

  • Purchase a copy of A Waltz with Traitors

  • Request that your local library purchase a copy of A Waltz with Traitors

Good luck!

book tags

Steam Level

clean, kissing, implied intimacy between married couples



Content & Trigger Warnings

From the author "The following novel contains depictions of warfare, war injuries, disease, miscarriage, kidnapping, off-page sexual assault, executions, and implied intimacy between married couples."

A Waltz With Traitors follows the true story of the Czechoslovak Legion. It is a war story and deals with a few heavy themes (listed above). Nothing about this novel made me uncomfortable. I did cry and have my heart utterly shattered a few times due to the hardships the Legion and their families suffered.

If you have any questions about the content please comment below, reach out to me on social media, or email me. I am happy to answer any questions you may have.

book information

Title: A Waltz With Traitor's

Author: A.L. Sowards

Rating: 5/5

purchasing links


Barnes & Noble

Deseret Book

Seagull Book

1 Comment

I'm excited to read this book!

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