Author: A.L. Sowards
Genre: Historical Fiction
Series: Heirs of Falcon Point #1
Release Date: October 10, 2023
Publisher: Covenant Communications
Austrian refugee Karl Lang has lost everything—his country, his home, and his family. All that is left to him is a burning ambition to see the Nazis defeated. Desperate for work and a way to help the war effort, he finds the one place that will take a refugee like him: a supply steamer traversing a deadly path past enemy U-boats.
Since their first meeting, Millie Stevens has felt an undeniable connection to Karl. As the war rages, she shares his determination to oppose the Nazis and finds work at the British codebreaking center at Bletchley Park. There she uses all her intellect and determination to break German codes and read U-boat transmissions—or risk losing the man she loves.
Rolf Denhart will do anything to defend the Fatherland, including long patrols in a cramped U-boat. But rumors from Germany leave him uneasy, forcing a choice between loyalty to his homeland, the safety of his family, and his peace of conscience.
In the midst of war, three lives are woven together to create an epic tapestry of love and loss, joy and pain, sacrifice and courage.
Reviewer: Abigail Harder
Codes of Courage reminded me why World War II is one of my favorite historical time eras in fiction. This story was so beautifully written, and it had me constantly on my toes, wanting to know what was going to happen next.
A.L. Sowards clearly did her research, and it showed throughout her whole story. It blew me away the depth of emotion, tension, and thoughts that we got from every character within this book, no matter what side of the war they were fighting on.
Karl was such a complex but endearing character that drew people to himself through his loyalty and passion. Millie was such a sweetheart. I loved watching the love bloom between them. They had so many twists and turns that they had to endure that it kept you on your toes.
This book was just so amazing, and I cannot put into words how truly remarkable it is. It takes you on a roller coaster of emotions and does not let you go until you are finished with the book. I will definitely be reading more A.L. Sowards books in the future!
I received this book from Covenant Communications through Interviews & Reviews. All thoughts are my own. I was not required to write a positive review.
Reviewer: Winnie Thomas
Codes of Courage by A. L. Sowards captures perfectly why historical fiction is my favorite genre. I get to learn about little-known slices of history while enjoying a riveting story. With obvious impeccable historical research, richly painted settings, and characters that come alive on the page, this tale kept me engrossed to the end. There were a few twists and turns that surprised me and had my emotions all over the place.
The story is told from various points of view. Karl Lang, Millie Stevens, and Rolf Denhart are all pulled into WWII, and their lives are irreparably changed because of it. It was interesting to have the different POVs, as they added much to the tale. Poignant and heartbreaking, yet also tender and healing, it’s a perfect read for historical fiction lovers. Although it can be read as a standalone book, more about Karl Lang’s story is told in Heirs of Falcon Point. I’m looking forward to reading more from this author.
I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy. All opinions are my own.
Reviewer: Elizabeth Rucker
This book was well thought out and well written. It took me longer to read it because I am not used to the military lingo, but the effort was well worth it. This was far away from my comfort zone, but it definitely met a high standard now that I read it.
The relationships between all of the characters that intertwined were genius. I felt as if the writing was well planned. Nothing seemed like it lacked a plot. There were no gaps at all.
The character development in the book was very good! And the story was beautiful. I loved the characters, and I cried with them. I loved the way it ended. The resolution was very well crafted.
The trust that the characters had in God and the prayer element in it were very good. It made me feel as though I could trust in God and that no matter what, I could rely on Him! That message was amazing! I can’t find anything wrong with this book!
I received a complimentary copy courtesy of Covenant Communications through Interviews & Reviews for my honest opinion.
Reviewer: Laura J. Davis
If you enjoy WWII historical fiction, then you may like Codes of Courage by A.L. Soward.
While most WWII novels look at the perspectives of the allies, in Codes of Courage, the author has also included a German officer's (Rolf) perspective as he fights the "enemy" beneath the waters in a submarine. The level of research the author did is evident. At times, I felt claustrophobic as Rolf and his fellow officers endured all the smells one would encounter in an enclosed space.
The battles at sea and the results of those lost at sea were incredibly real and so well described that I had to keep reading to see who would get rescued and who would not. This was a very tense book!
Much of the novel takes place through letters between Karl and Millie, as he was at sea most of the time. Unfortunately, for me, their love story fell a little flat. While the letters indicated how long they were apart and how their feelings changed toward each other, in the end, it still felt rushed to me.
While the story moved along at a brisk pace and kept me reading, at times I also felt like part of the story was missing and had the feeling that this wasn't the first book in the series. And yet it is! I felt like I was supposed to know about Karl, his past, and his missing sisters. I suppose if the story hadn't just rushed everything, I would have felt more for him as a character. The end of the story threw me for a loop, and while it eventually tied everything up, it was not what I expected and still left some unanswered questions regarding some characters. I hope there will be a second book to clear them up!
In the end, this is a great WWII historical novel that will keep you entertained but also leave you with many questions.
I received a complimentary copy courtesy of Covenant Communications through NetGalley for my honest opinion.
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