Review – The Storms of War by Kate Williams


Don’t judge a book by its cover! This sentence holds especially true for Kate WilliamsThe Storms of War. Don’t expect your usual light historical/romantic fiction fare. Why? Just read my review.

Thank you Orion Books for a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

The Storms of War
Image provided by Orion Books¹
Synopsis quoted from Orion Books¹:

In the idyllic early summer of 1914, life is good for the de Witt family. Rudolf and Verena are planning the wedding of their daughter Emmeline, while their eldest son, Arthur, is studying in Paris and Michael is just back from his first term at Cambridge. Celia, the youngest of the de Witt children, is on the brink of adulthood, and secretly dreams of escaping her carefully mapped-out future and exploring the world.

But the onslaught of war changes everything and soon the de Witts find themselves sidelined and in danger of losing everything they hold dear. As Celia struggles to make sense of the changing world around her, she lies about her age to join the war effort and finds herself embroiled in a complex plot that puts not only herself but those she loves in danger.

My Thoughts:

Kate Williams’ The Storms of War is set during the Great War in England and France and the detailed descriptions of the various settings help you to envision what the war must have been like. While Williams paints a clear picture of the gruesome wartime at the Western Front in France, she doesn’t forget to also write about the state of her settings before and after the war. One of these places is Stoneythorpe Hall, the home of the de Witt family, and I really enjoyed reading about how it changed during the war.

In my opinion, this novel is the coming-of-age story of Celia de Witt, our main character. She is the youngest of the de Witt children and after the war breaks out she has to grow up very fast. Child-like, dreamy and naive Celia soon adapts to the harsh reality of the wartime and turns into a practical young woman. Only later in the book, she somehow seems to be out of character for a short while. I could write a lot about the other characters. They all seem to have their own story to tell which isn’t surprising, as this is the first book in a trilogy.

As I said before, when I saw the cover of The Storms of War, I expected light historical/romantic fiction. What I didn’t expect is a novel that is filled with blood and causes so much pain. I was glad it turned out that way. The Storms of War is a well-researched book that I’d recommend to everyone who can stomach a hefty dose of war and its consequences on people’s lives.



2 thoughts on “Review – The Storms of War by Kate Williams

  1. Hey,
    das ist eine sehr schöne Rezi. Bin gerade durch Lovelybooks hier hergelangt und finde den Blog wirklich toll.
    Ich möchte auch endlich mal wieder mehr englische Bücher lesen, um mein englisch wieder aufzufrischen, bzw. zu verbessern.
    Englische Filme /Serien verstehe ich eigentlich sehr gut, aber beim Lesen traue ich mir dann doch immer nicht so viel zu. Könnte ich “The Storms of War” gut verstehen oder sollte ich lieber auf eine Übersetzung warten (hoffen)? Inhaltlich spricht mich das Buch sehr an und trifft genau meinen Geschmack.
    Liebe Grüße Nanni


    1. Hallo Nanni,
      Das freut mich, dass dir die Review und der Blog gefällt!
      Also wenn du englische Filme und Serien sehr gut verstehst, dann dürftest du mit dem Buch eigentlich nicht allzu große Probleme haben. Auch wenn natürlich die Bilder fehlen. Aber um auf Nummer sicher zu gehen, könntest du dir mal die Leseprobe hier ansehen (Lass dich bitte nicht vom verwirrenden Prolog abschrecken 😉 ):
      Außerdem würde es vielleicht helfen das Buch auf einem e-reader zu lesen, wenn du einen hast. Da kannst du (nur die wichtigsten!!) Wörter ja direkt markieren und unkompliziert nachschlagen.
      Aber wie gesagt. Ich denke, wenns mit den Serien/Filmen klappt, dann klappts auch mit dem Buch. Die paar Vokablen zum Krieg wiederholen sich ja meist. 🙂
      Liebe Grüße,


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