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Sebastian (The Three Nations Trilogy Book 2)

Sebastian (The Three Nations Trilogy Book 2) [Kindle Edition]

Christoph Fischer
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (78 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

"I fell in love with SEBASTIAN" - "A Beautiful Story of Hope, Love & Promise!"

We must all grow up. We must all find our inner power. "Truly inspiring for anyone!"

"... a MUST read. INTELLIGENT, SENSITIVE, ENGAGING - Simply perfect!”

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Sebastian is the story of a young man who, due to an unfortunate accident, has his leg amputated shortly before World War I. When his father is drafted to the war it falls to him to run the family grocery store in Vienna, to grow into his responsibilities, bear loss and uncertainty, and hopefully find love.

Sebastian Schreiber, his extended family, their friends and the store employees experience the ‘golden days’ of pre-war Vienna, the time of war and the end of the Monarchy, while trying to make a living and to preserve what they hold dear.

Fischer brilliantly describes life in Vienna during the war years; how it affected the people in an otherwise safe and prosperous location, the beginning of the end for the monarchic system , the arrival of modern thoughts and trends, the Viennese class system and the end of an era.

As in the first book of the trilogy, “The Luck of The Weissensteiners” we are confronted again with themes of identity, nationality and borders. The step back in time from Book 1 and the change of location from Slovakia to Austria enables the reader to see the parallels and the differences deliberately out of sequential order, so as not to see one as the consequence of the other, but to experience them as the reality it must have felt like for people at the time.

Review from Goodreads:

The strength of this author lies in the choice of his characters, a large ensemble cast around the title character Sebastian. Each of them seems to represent a different class, a social or an ethnic group of the melting pot that is the Habsburg Vienna of 1913. The family shop with its wide selection of goods and changing staff serves almost as the perfect symbol for the forced Austro-Hungarian state that has run its cause. With much research gone into the setting Fischer however focuses more on the human side of his characters and their conflicts. As before, he never points the finger or favours one group in particular but manages to give a great and authentic feel of the times. Self-doubt and a fear of the future oozes out of most his characters, particularly the physically fragile Sebastian and his family.
It seems the old generation is holding on to what they know and what is slipping through their fingers; the young ones are unsure how to be themselves in a modern world where old values are becoming meaningless and their own initiative and expertise will be needed.
With a hint of irony and a love for sentiment and nostalgia Fischer portrays the stubborn heroes, the errant and self-defeating and often silly ways in which the characters trod along in their search for happiness, be that seances, amateur psycho-analysis or risking all for a piece of the past.
This second part of his trilogy is less intense in terms of historic background and has an easier flow of writing. Greatly evolved Fischer gently shows the falling apart of the old order, showing some of the innocence of the time. After having first written a book about the brutal times that follow this is a daring concept that fortunately paid off. Just like the leg amputated Sebastian has to learn to walk through life with what he has left, so will the new shrunken state of Austria need to find a new stance in a changing Europe.
Having read in an interview that the story is based on his own grandfather makes the story all the more touching and a small piece of history come alive.

About the Author

Christoph Fischer was brought up near the Austrian border in Bavaria and has since lived in Hamburg, London, Brighton and Bath. He always loved books and one of his first jobs was in a library. ‘Sebastian’ is his second book and is part of the ‘Three Nations Trilogy’. ‘The Luck of The Weissensteiners’ was published in November 2012 and has a thematic connection but no direct link to the plot of Sebastian. Since becoming an author Christoph has begun to support other authors and has joined several internet author groups. The best of his reviews can be found on: For further information you can follow him on: @CFFBooks

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 593 KB
  • Print Length: 321 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1484156005
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00CLL1UY6
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (78 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #41,031 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Christoph Fischer was born in Germany as the son of a Sudeten-German father and a Bavarian mother. Not a full local in the eyes and ears of his peers he developed an ambiguous sense of belonging and home in Bavaria. He moved to Hamburg in pursuit of his studies and to lead a life of literary indulgence. After a few years he moved on to the UK where he is still resident today.
He completed a historical "Three Nations Trilogy" in 2013, comprising of "The Luck of the Weissensteiners", "Sebastian" and "The Black Eagle Inn."
In May 2014 he published his first contemporary novel "Time To Let Go" in May.
He has written several other novels which are in the later stages of editing and finalisation.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sebastian 29 May 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
Sebastian is the second the Three Nations Trilogy; the first book, The Luck of the Weissensteiners, was set in the 1930s and World War 2. Sebastian opens in 1913 and follows him and his family through World War 1 and into the post-war period. Both books have as their themes, identity, nationality and borders. Set as they are in central and eastern Europe, they highlight the instability of life there in the first half ot the 20th century, the rapid shifts and power struggles and the extreme effects on individuals who are facing serious difficulties in holding onto a normal life of any kind. Eastern Europe was truly a melting pot at that time. Fischer has described the background wonderfully well and very accurately but he never becomes tedious.
As with the Weissensteiners, deft characterisation ensures that the reader empathises with each individual family member. The book explores the reactions of the characters to extreme duress and shows how they may err but also how they retain a capacity for helping each other and doing the right thing. The author really appreciates the social pressures of the early 20th century: the adoption of more liberal attitudes since that time can obscure our view of the way life was then, but this book is brilliantly and clearly set in the real social scene of the time.
The storyline starts quite slowly but quickly gathers pace. This makes it a very good read and leaves the reader with a strong sense of the realities of the period.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Glad I found this book 10 Aug 2013
By james
Format:Kindle Edition
Sebastian has a leg amputated right at the start of the book. It's hard to imagine losing a limb and to do so at such a young age is harsh, but Sebastian has no time to lick his wounds; the war drags his father away and leaves him with his fragile family and a store to run.
Sebastian's family is an odd bunch of characters that you can't help liking. The setting in Vienna at that time is very interesting and the characters that come into the family's life illustrate a multicultural society and the growing tensions really well. Fischer does a great job at exploring Sebastian's ideas of what his place in society should be. Sebastian starts dating one of the assistants who comes with her own baggage, while the war is only happening in the distance.
I liked the subplots; in particular one was very entertaining in which several rich women spend their time psycho-analysing and going to séances, as was the fashion then I think this was the start of new ageism?). Another subplot takes the story to Galicia, which was one of the main areas of the fighting and shows a different side to war times, in contrast to wealthy Vienna.
Sebastian is well written, unpredictable and an interesting historical novel, and is also a coming of age story about a young disabled man and his journey to self-acceptance. The book ends on a positive, inspirational note, and also with a wonderful twist.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
By OlgaNM
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Sebastian is a long novel that chronicles a complex period of Austrian history by following the life of a Jewish family living and working in Vienna. The difficulties of the family (poor Sebastian loses a leg at the very beginning of the book and this will change his whole life, his mother, grandmother and grandfather have health problems, his father disappears in the Great War…) reflect the turbulent historical period that Europe lives in the early XX Century. Although the book is part of a trilogy I understand from the description that each book can be read independently and Sebastian is a stand-alone novel.
One of the beauties of the book is how it manages to paint a very vivid portrait of the Viennese society of the period, cosmopolitan, complex and with its great variety of nationalities, religions and unwritten rules. The novel shows us the wider historical events and how these affect a particular family. Thanks to the characters who come into contact with the family we can gain a wider perspective, as we get to see how people from Galicia felt, the difficult situation of Orthodox Jews from that area, how somebody who is known as a patriot today, might end up in the wrong side tomorrow through circumstances not always of their making. The shop at the centre of the book offers a great opportunity to understand the ins and outs of the public relations between the diverse groups, both from the point of view of the clients and also the staff.
Sebastian is the centre of that world, and he grows from a weak and cowardly young boy to a mature, well-adjusted and highly moral individual.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect. Simply perfect. 3 Sep 2013
By Macca
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Historical fact is the heart of great historical fiction but like quicksand, it can suck you down if you stay too long. This did NOT happen with Sebastian. The historical facts were so seamlessly tied in to the story that I knew exactly where I was and who I was with, thus experiencing a deeper look at the human experience.

Sebastian is a book to luxuriate in; a book to savor. With the poetic language of the novel, and the world painted by those words, I became utterly unconscious of the process of reading and instead was carried into the world of the story and the hearts and minds of the characters. I wanted to stay there forever. This is just how I felt when I first fell in love with reading.

Fischer's narrative is superb; prose that is scrupulous and lyrical, beautiful and exact. The only complaint I have about the story is that it had to finish.


A synopsis of the story and a little bit of history about the Austro-Hungarian empire, is contained below for those who wish to read further....

Sebastian is set in Vienna in the early 1910's in the time of the Austro-Hungarian empire. Sebastian is the story of a young man who has to come to terms with the amputation of his leg just before World War I. When his father is drafted to fight he has to step up and manage the family grocery store through the hard times, bad fortunes and changes of personnel. Vienna is the capital of a multi-cultural and multi-religious, liberal society that is on the verge of collapsing into several split nations, a development accelerated by the war. Against this backdrop Sebastian is finding himself and his own place in life.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Utterly Brilliant Masterpiece
A stunningly believable account of life through the eyes of a young man during World War I. This tale was expertly researched, brilliantly plotted and features an amazing cast of... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Anari
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it
A beautiful historical read -Sebastian is the story of a young man growing up. Chrisoph is a talented writer with great knowledge. His stories always flow with such ease and flow. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Anna Othitis
5.0 out of 5 stars A captivating read about life at its rawest!
A captivating read about life at its rawest! This is not the first book I've read by Mr. Fischer, and I've really grown fond of Fischer's writing style; his appreciation of small... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Mandus
5.0 out of 5 stars Author Christopher Fisher takes us to pre WWI Vienna and ...
Author Christopher Fisher takes us to pre WWI Vienna and East Europe through the eyes, struggles, and ordeal of the main character, Sebastian. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Antalis
5.0 out of 5 stars Good stuff
Sebastian is a young man who loses his leg to an amputation which must be tough for anyone. The family and their business are struggling through WW1. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Jonny
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring
A thought provoking and well written book, I am a big fan of this author, I think I have read everything he has written, and I have never been disappointed. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Gary Pratt
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful historical portrait
Sebastian is a moving and wonderful portrait of Vienna and East Europe before World War I.

The protagonist, Sebastian, is a brave young man who guides us along the... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Erania Pinnera
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 stars ...
Christoph Fischer tells a compelling tale from the early part of the 20th century. Let it be known we all shine at one thing more than we do at anything else. Read more
Published 2 months ago by The Wizard of Oz
5.0 out of 5 stars The best of historical fiction, just like the first book in the series
I love historical fiction for a reason. It allows me to learn in an enjoyable way, without the history lesson being forced on me, while enjoying a good story. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Avid reader
5.0 out of 5 stars Well researched historical novel
I'll definitely be checking out the other two books in this trilogy series. After having to have an amputation at too young an age, Sebastian overcomes adversity in this... Read more
Published 2 months ago by MegaReader
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