OMG. You guys.
(I seem to start a lot of my posts with this lately).
Do you like your movies, epic, romantic, and with knights in armor crashing into each other at full tilt or wooing ladies with long hair?
Because, OMG, With Fire and Sword
(Ogniem i mieczem). I just found out that one of my favorite novels, WF&S by the Nobel Prize winning author Henryk Sienkiewicz has been recently made into a movie by the Polish (which makes sense, he is the most famous Polish author). Sienkiewicz is most known in the West as the author of the awesome Quo Vadis
(I will be surprised if it's not in your local Borders), which was at one time my favorite novel and is even now in my Top 5: QV is a story of a proud Roman aristocrat Vinicius whose life and personality slowly changes under the influence of his mad love for a Christian Lygia. It's a very Christian novel but I adore it to bits despite not being a Christian. It's one of the most passionately romantic things I've read and the fact that I buy Vinicius' transformation from someone who orders his slaves whipped because he is in a bad mood to someone who throws himself on his knees in front of the 'dirt' of Rome to beg for mercy for Lygia is very believable. Plus, so much h/c. (I actually have the Polish version of QV too, but haven't watched it yet).
Anyway, total sidetrack. WF&S (which has also been translated into English) is set in the Polish-Ukrainian Commonwealth in the 17th century. The main story deals with a brutal war-uprising, but it centers around three awesome characters: Yan, the hero, a Polish nobleman (who is awesome and I have to admit suffers so much h/c that at one point even I went 'oh no, please stop hurting the boy!'), his OTP Helena, a spunky Polish lady, and (I confess my favorite) Bohun, a Ukrainian (thus on the other side of the war) who is wild and hot, and is also mad for Helena.
There are battles, romancing, kidnapping, h/c and a lot of mustaches.
Here is an awesome MV for it (there is a little voice over for about 30 secs and then it starts). You know you want to watch:
(side note: when Yan lets Bohun go, at the end, squeeeee. (The flunkies tell Yan they caught Bohun because he he threw himself, alone, at the whole army. Mmmmm).
I like Helena but Sienkiewicz's strengths have always been (a) his recreation of historical periods: it's an incredibly vivid-real world and (b) his male characters. Yan is a total darling, but I admit to loving Bohun more. Sienkiewicz was always good at the ambiguous, wild characters who have to fight tooth-and-nail against their emerging goodness. (Heck, Vinicius/Lygia is basically a canon Bohun/Helena).I admit to shipping Helena/Bohun for the middle of the book, heeeee.
The amusing this is I am clearly not the only one, because most of the vids I've found on youtube were Bohun/Helena. Here is one:( Vid here )