Set during the darkest days of World War II, King’s Ransom tells the heroic story of Tsar Boris III, King of Bulgaria, and his extraordinary efforts to save his country’s Jewish population from Hitler’s concentration camps. Aware of the price he might pay for his risks, Boris faced the Third Reich with courage and resolve, firm in his Christian convictions that would not permit him to abandon nearly 50,000 Jews. Boris, along with members of the Orthodox Church, Jewish religious leaders, and others, ultimately ensured that no Bulgarian Jews lost their lives to Hitler’s regime.
Based on a True Story
Historically accurate, Boris’s quest to save Bulgaria’s Jews is interwoven with the love story of Daria, the Jewish attendant to the Bulgarian royal family, and Dobri, a sergeant in the king’s guard. With courageous characters and passionate storytelling, King’s Ransom reveals how individuals acting on faith can change the course of history.
I thought this was an interesting piece of work. I had a little bit of difficulty getting into it and understanding all the different governmental positions, names, and titles, but once I figured them out I was quite captivated by the love story and by the different personalities of different characters. I really enjoyed the idea that it wasn’t only the actions of one hero that saved the Bulgarian Jews, but that it was the actions of several people, male and female, that played an important role in this historical event that prevented Hitler from exterminating more people in his quest for world domination. I enjoyed some of the lesser known characters as much as some of the main characters. For example, Liliana Panitza was instrumental in the warnings sent out about the planned exportations of Jews. She was a fascinating character as she had such strength, foresight and motivation to get the word out and yet she was somehow inexplicably drawn to her weak boss, Alexander. The two were almost a dichotomy of sorts. I also enjoyed the author’s depiction of King Boris as such a human figure with the weight of his country on his shoulders.
I’m sure that anyone with an interest in the era around World War II will enjoy this terrific story based on little-thought-of Bulgaria. If history is not your thing, I’m certain you will enjoy the passionate love story between Daria and Dobri. Check out this book!