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The Last Checkmate Review

The Last Checkmate

William Morrow

October 19, 2021

Historical Fiction


Warsaw, 1941. Hitler has begun working towards the genocide of anyone he deems unfit. Citizens, willing to risk their lives for the resistance, are finding ways to hide, provide, and save those being targeted. One such citizen, a fourteen-year-old female named Maria. Upon Maria’s capture, she quickly loses all she has ever loved, except chess. Forced to engage in numerous challenges by the camp deputy, Maria utilizes her knowledge of chess to not only play the board game for the SS Guard’s entertainment, but towards life itself. In The Last Checkmate, Maria is one of Gabriella Saab’s fictional characters. However, you would never know it from reading the story. Gabriella’s ability to describe not only some of the horrendous events that occurred during World War II, but the hidden gems of resistors as well, is a true testament to her research. The one hitch found was an influx of profanity, deeming it a 4 out of 5 stars. None the less, profanity should be expected in a story regarding such a dark time in our world’s history, and should not deter you from it. As with any content relating to war, especially the Holocaust, there is much cruelty, racism, physical and sexual abuse, executions, mind altering psychological warfare, and many other atrocities within this book. So please read with extreme caution if triggered by these events. With that said, this book is filled with an abundance of resilience, strength, determination, love, and friendship. It is difficult to imagine that so many good things could come from a life and time of such terror. Yet, Gabriella not only paints the dreadful picture, but allows the reader to see the beauty as well. Thank you to #NetGalley, #WilliamMorrow, #GabriellaSaab for the Advanced Readers Copy in exchange for my honest review.


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