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Publisher's Summary

2000: The wreckage of a downed WWII fighter plane is discovered in the forests near Russia's Ukrainian border. The aircraft belonged to Natalya Azarova, ace pilot and pin-up girl for Soviet propaganda, but the question of her fate remains unanswered. Was she a German spy who faked her own death, as the Kremlin claims? Her lover, Valentin Orlov, now a highly-decorated general, refuses to believe it. Lily, a young Australian woman, has moved to Moscow to escape from tragedy. She becomes fascinated by the story of Natalya, and when she meets an elderly woman who claims to know the truth behind the rumours, Lily is drawn deeper into the mystery.

©2014 Copyright © Belinda Alexandra 2014. (P)2014 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd

Critic Reviews

"One of our great storytellers.'" ( Sunday Telegraph)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

A Disturbing Disappointment

This book was difficult to listen to and I finally just gave up after many grueling hours of hoping it would improve. It is a graphically violent story about war, betrayal, hatred and extreme loss. Disturbing on so many levels. I don't understand how this book could be considered a "wonderful holiday listen" to quote several reviewers on amazon.

I usually enjoy Caroline Lee's narration, but listening to her Australian voice reading in the Russian accents was painful at times.

The "mystery" was so predictable that it was just plain boring to boot. I am sorry that I wasted as much time on this book as I did. It was hopeless. Can't recommend it in any way at all.

39 of 48 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Fiona
  • Buderim, Australia
  • 07-24-15

Fabulous

Kept me intrigued from the very first chapter. I loved this story... Heart wrenching in parts and leaves you feeling that you can really survive anything. Highly recommend ! Another great reading from Caroline Lee too!

6 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Marie
  • Arlington, TN, United States
  • 10-06-14

Wonderful Book, don't miss out on this one

If you could sum up Sapphire Skies in three words, what would they be?

Wonderful, Educational, and this book is a page turner. Rich in history!

Have you listened to any of Caroline Lee’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Caroline Lee's performance is excellent!

Any additional comments?

Worth a credit. Don't miss out on this one.

8 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent!!

I really loved this book. It is loosely based on the WWII Soviet pilot Lydia Litvyak who never went into battle without her lipstick and powder. She was brave and audacious. It is a story about Stalin's sick reign that has forever left its mark on Russian society; it is a mystery; it is frightening in a way most cannot understand thankfully; and it is a love story. Well worth the credit. I will listen to it again. Belinda Alexandra has become a favorite author, and Caroline Lee has delivered her usual stunning performance.

6 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

I cried when I listened I cried when it ended. wow

I can't wait to hear another book by this author. so touching and beautiful. the characters were amazing.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Russian history never interested me until...

Wow! This book gave me a much better understanding of Russian history. Although I have lived internationally and generally gravitate to historical fiction, Russian history was something that I wasn't terribly interested in. However, this book really draws in you (after you get used to the multiple names for the same people) and explores a side of WW2 that most aren't all that aware of. I probably never would have listened to this book if I hadn't already fallen in love with the author's other book, Silver Wattle, which is about Australia in the 20's. But I thought I give another book by her a go and see if she was a captivating in a different culture as she was about Australia. I was not disappointed.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Too depressing

What did you like best about Sapphire Skies? What did you like least?

I listen to these books in the car. I always find they entertain me once I get into them. this is the first book I can't get into. I have never stopped listening to a book in five years, This one just upset me too much and the characters did not grab me, I love WWII era books but this one was not educating me or entertaining me. Bad choice for me.

What do you think your next listen will be?

The Crimson Petal and White

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

No!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Captivating!

I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this book. The story was captivating and the narrators ability to jump characters was done very well. She made the story come to life! There are so many pieces to this book...heart wrenching tragedy, sweet romance, mystery, action, adventure, triumph and defeat. I miss the characters now that the book is over.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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A wonderfully written story!

Truly enjoyed and plan to go back and. Explore her previous 5 books! True Heroines!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Awesome, riveting story

Awesome, fascinating story, but tragic and for the main heroine unrelentingly sad. "page turner" definitely.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Lyn
  • 11-01-17

Drove me mad. Couldn't finish it!

Why oh why has the author repeated whole chunks of narrative? It makes it too hard to follow the (very good) storyline. the first time I thought that I had inadvertently wound it back, but then it happened again and again. it got to the point that it was so annoying that I couldn't finish the book. I have read every other book by Belinda Alexander and she does not use this stupid trick anywhere else.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • MAGGS
  • 09-08-14

Sapphire Skies-really enjoyable book

If you could sum up Sapphire Skies in three words, what would they be?

Really Enjoyable read

What was one of the most memorable moments of Sapphire Skies?

Discovering Natasha

Have you listened to any of Caroline Lee’s other performances? How does this one compare?

Loved narrator not heard her before

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Don't know but I did listen to book fairly quickly

Any additional comments?

Really enjoyable book

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Paddington
  • 05-28-14

Another enjoyable Belinda Alexandra novel

I love Belinda Alexandra's stories. While they are all historically and culturally different they all have an element of danger, an attractive and capable young woman as the main character, romance and a connection to Australia. I enjoy the background settings of these characters which are set in various countries in Europe or China. As a result of the turmoil of the major wars of our last century caused migration to counties like Australia.
Sapphire Skies was fascinating dealing with aspects of Stalin's powerful and cruel regime in Russia. While I loved this book, it seemed a little shorter to me and in some places lacked the depth of some of her previous novels. However, I eagerly await Belinda Alexandra's next novel. I am a great fan!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 09-07-17

Not as good as I hoped

I did enjoy the details about history especially about the German concentration camps. I lost interest at periods throughout this book to be honest. I chose it based on reviews of The Bronze Horseman which said they were similar but this was definitely not as engrossing as The Bronze Horseman. Still, I enjoyed it enough to try more of Belinda Alexandra's books.
I do enjoy listening to Caroline Lee when she's using an Australian accent and she did do the Russian accent well too but she dropped in and out of character.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Lynnette Dyer
  • 12-05-16

Another powerful story.

I loved this one just as much as Tuscan Rose. Full of action, love, loyalty and humanity. Caroline must enjoy acting these parts, she really is my favourite reader.
Again I learnt my history, this time in Russia.
Thank you Belinda, you are a clever author.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Chris
  • 12-02-15

Enjoyment factor

A little disappointing after the first 3 which were very good and really kept my attention

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Rosemary
  • 06-02-15

Loved it.

A very interesting subject, a great read and the narration was fabulous as always. Recommended.