ESCAPE FROM THE CZAR – Paula Bilyieu Velho

A thrilling but uneven story of war and its consequences.

By Paula Bilyieu Velho ‧ RELEASE DATE: March 27, 2022

Paula Bilyieu Velho

Povilas Glamzo, a Lithuanian factory worker, strives to protect his family from the tumultuous events of the late 19th century. Growing up as the son of a serf, Povilas is determined to break free from the bonds of servitude and find a better life. His father’s master, Lord Nicholas Serovich, helps him to achieve his dream by paying for his passage to St. Petersburg. Although Povilas is initially excited to join the proletariat, he soon realizes that it is just another form of servitude. He moves to Latvia to become a metallurgist, and marries Sophie Zagel, the village beauty. However, his newfound happiness is threatened when Russia and Japan go to war and Povilas is conscripted to make torpedoes for submarines. He is terrified of the consequences of refusing the offer, and so he reluctantly agrees.


Velho’s novella is based on the life of her grandfather, and her attention to detail is evident in her depiction of the political turmoil of the time. The story is full of dramatic events, and could easily be adapted into a cinematic saga. However, the author’s writing can be awkward and clumsy, making it difficult to fully immerse oneself in the story. Despite this, the protagonist’s inner turmoil is still palpable, as he struggles to make the best decision for his family.

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Pub Date: March 27, 2022
ISBN: 978-1-66555-396-4

Page Count: 114
Publisher: AuthorHouse

Review Posted Online: June 23, 2023