Have you ever wondered what you would do if you suddenly would be transported to a place in the past while you had all your modern knowledge?
In this Russian fantasy novel medical student Aliya dies in a carcrash and then somehow wakes up in another body in another world that is very much like our Middle Ages.
This Russian novel is a bit different. At first I thought it was a story
meant for highschool students but nevertheless was so attracted by the
synopsis I volunteered to review. The thing is that although the heroine
is a medical student I think the targeted readers might be found in
18+. Not that the story is steamy: it is not! No because of the serious
way the whole situation is handled.
In most timetravel stories people just blend in. If there is the fact that they know more than the people surrounding them then it is in that they know the future. It is not so much that they would share advanced technology. Here there is no knowledge of the future: it is a different world not the past. But Aliya now countess Lilian has a wide share of knowledge how to make things and how to cure people and she sets off to monetise that and improve her village. It made me wonder what I would do and I realised my knowledge is not suitable at all in a situation like that (I am a lawyer).
So what to say about this novel?
The writer is very apt in worldbuilding. The world described sounds real. Countess Lilian lives in a would with many similarities to medieval Europe. You recognise the Vikings, the Jews and the Arabs, but the church is just different. Laws are different. And similar.
Sometimes the writing style seems a bit different to me but that might be because it is a Russian novel that is translated. Things like that can somehow show different cultures of writing styles. It is not annoying.
The book really has potential to be great but seems to break off just when the stage is set for action. I would advice to publish it together with part 2 (I expect there is one). I think it will be received better that way. Lots of the better fantasy stories are heavy tomes that has the reader reading for days on end so there is no need to cut the story into different volumes. Now we end up with a clever exercise how to keep yourself afloat in the Middle Ages and we see storm brewing on the horizon but the thunderclaps have not been heard yet. All the action has yet to come.
It could be done like this if this part would be for free but when you want to charge a fee I think customers might grumble because it feels like you are reading a good book and suddenly someone grabs it and takes it away.
PS: I really liked the fact that the heroine is a heavy set lady who kicks ass (I am no feather either)