Ashes of death give way to hope in Goyer's novel. Hitler's army is ravaging Europe in 1941. The claws of war also strike at America -- tearing apart Dr. Nick Fletcher and Evie Kreig, the daughter of the Austrian ambassador to the United States, when her family is deported. Evie joins an underground movement to overthrow Hitler in her home country, while Nick is drafted into military service and faces the daunting task of battleground surgery.

Violinist Jakub Hanauer watched Hitler's soldiers attack his brother and arrest his father. When he's sent to a concentration camp, he tries to keep alive his faith, but his brother dies. Jakub is rescued from a threatening guard by the conductor of the camp's orchestra, and their music is the only thing that keeps hope alive for the starved, overworked and desolate prisoners. Jakub wonders when it will be his turn to enter the crematory.

There's so much passion in this compelling book, which conveys the horror and fear of the times. The friendships, passions and loves of the characters are strongly conveyed. Yes, they're fictional characters, but the historical facts show a time when hell indeed reigned on earth. (Apr., 515 pp., $12.99)
Reviewed by: 
Faith V. Smith