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Night of the Cossack
By Tom Blubaugh
2012
Reviewed by Angie Mangino
Rating:  4 stars
 
Readers learn in the introduction that Blubaugh’s grandfather, who died before the author was born, had been a Russian Cossack soldier in the Ukraine, immigrating to America in 1910.
 
“Writing this story has pushed my imagination to the limit,” the author tells readers.  “Let me introduce you to my grandfather as I imagine him.”
 
Sixteen-year-old Nathan hides in the root cellar with his younger brother, Israel and his mother as a Cossack attack disrupts their village.  With his father dead, Nathan feels responsible to protect his mother and brother.  However, what can he do? 
 
Not heeding his mother’s plea, he leaves the safety of the cellar after the screams and hoof beats of horses subside.  Checking his home, which appears safe and fortunately spared, he encounters the Cossack Nikolai, who will change the young Nathan’s life in unimaginable ways.
 
Readers will find themselves quickly immersed in the story that the author has masterfully created.  Realistic dialogue and a well-crafted story line keep readers experiencing along with Nathan the life of a Cossack until the unexpected conclusion of the tale.