BOOK REVIEW/BLOG TOUR: Last Dance in Kabul by Ken Czech

Publication Date: August 2, 2018
Fireship Press
Paperback & eBook; 306 Pages
Genre: Action & Adventure/Historical/Romance/War & Military


The Ultimate Dance Between Love and War

When his superiors ignore his warnings of an impending Afghan insurrection in 1841, British army captain Reeve Waterton vows never to return to Kabul. But then he rescues strong-willed Sarah Kane from an ambush and his plans for civilian life and self-

preservation unravel around him.

At first Reeve dislikes Sarah as much as she loathes him. She's as impudent and disdainful of authority as he, plus she's betrothed to his bitterest rival.

It's only after Reeve's closest friend is brutally murdered and the Afghan tribes explode in revolt that he and Sarah discover their desperate need for each other. When the retreating British army is caught between the jaws of Afghanistan's blizzard-wracked mountain passes and hordes of vengeful tribesmen, Sarah and Reeve must rely on their skills, courage, and blossoming love just to survive.

My Thoughts

Last Dance in Kabul is set in the winter of 1841/42, during the first Anglo Afghan War. I’ve read other novels set in this time period so was familiar with the circumstances leading up to the dramatic event and its tragic outcome used as the backdrop to this novel. In no way did this prior knowledge detract from the wonderful adventure and love story that unfolded.

Captain Reeve Waterton doesn't share his superiors’ views of the situation in Afghanistan and has no reservations in telling them so; hence his expulsion from Kabul and his presence on the docks of Bombay when Sarah Kane and her younger sister, Connie, disembark.

Unimpressed by the sight of the dishevelled and slovenly red-coated soldier, Sarah voices her opinions of his appearance. Amused rather than belittled, Reeve instantly earns her animosity by his manner. Learning that she is the niece of Brigadier Shelton, the man responsible for his present situation, and affianced to Captain Lew Rigby, Reeve is intrigued by her and sees her as a means to relieve his boredom. Their subsequent meetings go as well as the first and eventually they go their separate ways: he to survey the mountains and she to join her uncle and fiancé in Kabul, but their paths are destined to cross again.

While Reeve is irreverent, fond of women and drink, the reader soon sees a softer side to him as his lustful feelings for Sarah change to ones of love and respect. At times he is a reluctant hero, questioning his sanity in risking his own life instead of fleeing to safety while he has the chance. Foremost a soldier, he cannot abandon the men he served with and their families. Although the situation is hopeless, he continues to battle against the indecisiveness of those in charge and the greed of the East India Company. Then, of course, there is the greatest incentive for him to stay - Sarah.

Sarah is haughty, strong-willed, courageous and fiercely independent. These traits lead her into a few precarious situations, but prove advantageous as the British retreat. Her disregard for the rules results in a scandal and more trouble for Reeve who finds himself pitted against the Brigadier and Captain Rigby once more.

I loved Sarah and Reeve from their first meeting. Both are determined to live by their own personal codes regardless of the rules and regulations of society, but find when it comes to their emotions they have no control. Their verbal sparring is a delight to read, often infused with humour especially on the part of Reeve; Sarah also reveals a mischievous side as their relationship progresses. I enjoyed how their roles were reversed towards the end, with Sarah becoming the protector, chivying Reeve along and doing her utmost to keep them both alive.

Ken Czech does a wonderful job in developing his characters, mixing them with historical figures and evoking the mindset of the time. His description of the retreat from Kabul was so vivid and so enthralling that I was with them every gruelling step as the tribesmen harried the army and herded them towards the passes and certain death.

There is just one more thing I have to mention … the ending was just lovely (sigh) and left me wanting to re-read it and certain passages over and over again.

I'm sure this novel will appeal to fans of M.M. Kaye and Elizabeth Darrell (a.k.a. Emma Drummond) and to those looking for an exciting historical adventure with a lovely romance at its core.

Last Dance in Kabul is available from
Amazon | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound

Praise for Last Dance in Kabul

“Reeve Waterton, a dashing rogue, is a true hero who stands among the most valiant officers of British fiction. Sarah Kane is an assertive woman assured of her own mind yet vulnerable in her heart. Together they spark the blaze that energizes Last Dance in Kabul.” —Rex Griffin, historical writer

“You won't find two more compelling characters than Reeve Waterton and Sarah Kane. I love them. I rooted for them to survive and work things out from the third chapter until the exciting conclusion. Their story was so expertly woven between survival and romance that I found it difficult to pull myself away from it.” —Ray Simmons, for Reader's Favorite

“Last Dance in Kabul is a war story; a story of life and death; a story of love and hate, and it is a very good read. I was pulled back to 1841 and dropped in the middle of the Afghan insurrection.” –Trudi LoPreto for Reader's Favorite

“[The] character development is impeccable and the conflict gives the story its powerful depth and emotional intensity. Last Dance in Kabul is a captivating, well-plotted and beautifully paced novel.” —Christian Sia, for Reader's Favorite

About the Author

Dr. Ken Czech is a retired history professor and an internationally recognized authority on the historical literature of exploration and sport. His passion, however, has turned to writing fiction. He and his wife Mary live in Central Minnesota on an abandoned granite quarry.

For more information, please visit Ken’s website. You can also find him on Facebook, Amazon and Goodreads.

Blog Tour Schedule

Sunday, July 15 Interview at Passages to the Past | Monday, July 16 Review at The Caffeinated Bibliophile, Feature at Donna's Book Blog | Tuesday, July 17 Review at Cup of Sensibility | Wednesday, July 18 Review at Books and Glamour | Thursday, July 19 Review at Broken Teepee | Friday, July 20 Interview at Dianne Ascroft's Blog | Monday, July 23 Review at Bri's Book Nook | Tuesday, July 24 Guest Post at Myths, Legends, Books & Coffee Pots | Wednesday, July 25 Review at A Darn Good Read | Thursday, July 26 Review at Pursuing Stacie | Friday, July 27 Review at Hopewell's Public Library of Life | Monday, July 30 Feature at Just One More Chapter | Tuesday, July 31 Review at Hoover Book Reviews


During the Blog Tour we will be giving away a paperback copy of Last Dance in Kabul! To enter, please enter via the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules
– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on July 31st. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to US residents only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

Last Dance in Kabul


  1. Yay, I am so happy that you enjoyed Last Dance in Kabul! Thank you so much for hosting Ken's blog tour!

    HF Virtual Book Tours

  2. It was a brilliant read!

  3. I'd join this giveaway, but I'm not in the US! Thanks for the review, though!

    1. It's a shame it wasn't an international giveaway.