Tuesday 8 June 2021

Book Review: Tears of Amber by Sofía Segovia (Historical Fiction)

Title: Tears of Amber
Author: Sofía Segovia
Publisher: Amazon Crossing
Publication Date: 1 May 2021
Format: eBook - PDF
Genre: Historical Fiction
Source: ARC via NetGalley 

With war looming dangerously close, Ilse’s school days soon turn to lessons of survival. In the harshness of winter, her family must join the largest exodus in human history to survive. As battle lines are drawn and East Prussia’s borders vanish beneath them, they leave their farm and all they know behind for an uncertain future.

But Ilse also has Janusz, her family’s young Polish laborer, by her side. As they flee from the Soviet army, his enchanting folktales keep her mind off the cold, the hunger, and the horrors unfolding around them. He tells her of a besieged kingdom in the Baltic Sea from which spill the amber tears of a heartbroken queen.

Neither of them realizes his stories will prove crucial and prophetic.

Not far away, trying and failing to flee from a vengeful army, Arno and his mother hide in the ruins of a Königsberg mansion, hoping that once the war ends they can reunite their dispersed family. But their stay in the walled city proves untenable when they find themselves dodging bombs and scavenging in the rubble. Soon they’ll become pawns caught between two powerful enemies, on a journey with an unknown destination.

Hope carries these children caught in the crosshairs of war on an extraordinary pilgrimage in which the gift of an amber teardrop is at once a valuable form of currency and a symbol of resilience, one that draws them together against insurmountable odds.


Tears of Amber is an intense and emotional tale of the hardships everyday citizens faced during WWII, told through the struggles of two families whose lives are turned upside down, first by military recruitment, then by hunger and the loss of the homes, and finally by the need to flee from the approaching victors. We hear the story through various POVs, and all of those came across well as distinctive and captivating voices. The prose was gripping yet easy reading, which kept me turning the pages, and the action was nicely paced, so there were never any dull moments. There was plenty of misery in these pages, but there was also a spark of hope, which kept the tale from becoming too depressing. Recommended to fans of historical fiction looking for tales of WWII told from a different angle. It gets 4.5 stars from me.

I received this book as a free eBook ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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