Passions of War (Leonora Trilogy)
The second in Green’s World War I trilogy (after Daughters of War, 2010) opens in England in 1914. War is still simmering in the Balkans. Leonora Brown, “Leo,” has recently returned from Bulgaria, where she served as a volunteer with a mounted relief organization and, subsequently, as aide-de-camp to a Serbian officer, Colonel Sasha Malkovic.
Leo is in love with Sasha, who is engaged to be married, but Leo’s own engagement to Tom is one of convenience. Sasha is constantly on her mind as the conflict spreads, but by staying in England when Tom goes back to the Balkans, she hopes to avoid further heartbreak.
Tom’s concern is Leo’s brother, Ralph, who may be in political trouble in Serbia; together they witness the assassination of the heir to Austrian throne. When Austria calls on her allies to retaliate, the Balkan war becomes an international conflict.
Tom and Ralph join the British military, headed to the killing fields along the Somme. Leo volunteers again and, in time, she returns to Bulgaria where, caught up in a general retreat, she is almost killed. Rescued by Sasha and his men, Leo joins him on the march across mountains to the sea and safety. Sasha and Leo come to know each other, if imperfectly, on this arduous journey; but, like the war, their troubles are far from over.
Green uses the experience of Sasha, Leo, their families, and friends, to make “the war to end all wars” heartbreakingly realistic. Whether familiar with the events of 1914-1918 or not, readers in search of adventure and some romance will enjoy Passions of War and look forward to the concluding volume of the Leonora Trilogy.