Sirma by Reni Stankova

Sirma’s world was shattered to pieces the day when mountain outlaws took away her best friends. The village has been paying a protection fee in order to avoid this, yet the outlaws still did whatever they wanted. None of the village elders dared to stand up to them. Fed up with staying quiet, Sirma decided that she would be the one to protect her village instead.
At 18 years old, she dressed up like a man and took the lead of her own gang of villagers who’ve had enough of the outlaws’ atrocities. Roaming the wilderness, guarding the mountain roads and fighting those who attack the innocent… or at least this is Sirma’s goal.

But how far can her strength take her? Will her gang still follow her if they knew her real identity? Life in the mountain is harsh and devoid of accountability. Can she keep her comrades from becoming blood-thirsty criminals like their enemies? With the life choice she made, is there even a place for love?

Sirma voivode is a real historical figure who was a part of the Haiduk movement in 19th century Eastern Europe. This book is for those who are interested in the Balkan culture during the reign of the Ottoman Empire, as well as those who wish to read about one of the many women in history who did more than their gender allowed them to.

A little about Reni first:

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Reni Stankova is an indie author living in Bulgaria and works as an SEO from Monday to Friday. Outside of work, she writes about suspenseful adventures and steamy chemistry between rebellious and feisty characters. She writes in multiple genres with a focus on adventure, drama, and romance. When she isn’t writing, Reni recharges by hiking the mountains and traveling to new places.

 

Karen Meyer’s Review: 5-Stars

Based on a true story is always a story I want to read, and this one did not disappoint. Sirma was what we would call today, a tomboy. She was very competitive and loved to beat the boys in races. She especially liked to beat a boy named Plamen who always gave his best in everything and who plays a big part in her life.

Her best friend was a little girl named Ruzha. She was nothing like Sirma, but when they were seventeen Ruzha was abducted by outlaws. This and the fact that Sirma’s brother was the leader of the Haiduks and was killed played key roles in determining Sirma’s destiny. Ruzha was engaged to Plamen so her abduction also affected his life.

After this, Sirma cut her long braid and left home. She joined a gang and ended up as the leader, or voivode. She never let them know that she was a girl. It would be twenty-four years before she would finally kill her friend’s murderer and meet and marry the love of her life.

I loved everything about this book, whether it was based on a true story or not. I just think it was very well written and the characters are either likable or detestable whichever the author wants. You love Sirma because she gives her very best in everything she does. You love Velko because he loves her so much.

I can’t help but give this book 5 stars, it is one I would recommend to everyone. I am really glad I got to review it.

Elkin Hardcoves’ Review: 4-Stars

If you are searching for a Young Adult historical adventure story,
then “Sirma,” by Reni Stankova might just be what you are looking for.
Somewhat based on actual historical events Sirma, involves the heroin
—Sirma — early life and her village during the middle period under the
Ottoman Empire.

When her young world is forever changed by the violent actions of bandits, Sirma asks her grandfather to train her to defend herself and eventually joins a group of villagers from various communities that are tired of dealing with the bandits. The rest of the narrative chronical is a fictional account of her attempts to deal with these bandits, further, learning to survive in harsh environments, and maintaining her band that she eventually becomes the leader of: all while keeping her identity as a girl a secret from most of them.

If you want to read an entertaining book full of adventure, and historical points which you might not be aware of, then this truly is the book for you.

Having said this, I should point out that I do not believe English is the primary language of the writer, and there are some minor grammatical errors in the work, but those errors didn’t detract from my enjoyment. Furthermore, while the plot was a bit predictable, this fact also did not detract from my satisfaction with the work on the whole. I’d personally give this work 4.0 out of five.

Please feel free to share your review in the comments.

Every image of a cover is a link that leads to third-party retailers and are affiliate links. If you purchase the product in question by clicking on the cover, we earn a small portion of the profits.

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