Based on the true story of Bulgaria’s Tsar Boris III and set during the threatening times of World War II, King’s Ransom brilliantly puts into words the intense and overwhelming struggle, the laudable fight both within himself and against the Third Reich, to save his country’s Jews.
Tip-toeing on a silk thread of diplomacy, King Boris was forced to deal with Hitler while managing to keep the Russians from invading his small country. The fact that he managed to create an ally of Hitler and still keep the Russians at bay is the stuff of fiction, made more incredible because of the attention to detail and historical accuracy that Beazely and Lemmons so masterfully interweave in this superb book.
The inspired love story of Daria, a Jewish member of the royal household, and Dobri, a sergeant in the king’s guard, illustrates the strength of the individual. This unexpected subplot draws the reader intensely into the personal efforts of everything the Tsar labors so hard for.
The Tsar was a man who looked Hitler in the face and diplomatically danced circles around him. He held off the threat of Communist Russia overtaking his small country. He dealt with overzealous Bulgarian officials who passionately wanted to force “his” Jews, his people, out of their own country by thwarting their every move where possible. In the end, he did what can only be deemed the impossible… He held off the Third Reich, the Russians and saved almost 50,000 Bulgarian Jews.
This is a book not to be missed, for it both infuriates and inspires. As historical fiction, it is a moving and rich account of a real event. As truth, it is bursting with anecdotes and life-lessons we all need to be reminded of.