War, Love, and Betrayal

Fiction - Action
400 Pages
Reviewed on 01/10/2023
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Bogdan Kotnis, Ph. D., born in Kraków, Poland, lived approximately 30 years in Poland and 30 years in the United States, with two years as a legal resident of Denmark. He is a writer, educator, film director and producer, journalist, business owner, Polonia activist, windsurfing coach, Reiki Master, High School and college teacher in Poland and the United States and a retired educational administrator in the NY State Public School System.
He holds a master’s degree in American literature from the Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland and a Ph.D. degree in educational administration from the State University of New York at Buffalo in educational leadership and institutional development.
He is the CEO of Polonia Global Fund and the owner of Polonia Perspectives. Currently, Dr. Kotnis serves as Institutional Development Strategist for corporate and not-for-profit clients.
Dr. Kotnis has traveled the world extensively. He speaks Polish, English, Danish, Russian, Ukrainian, German, and some Spanish. His hobbies include windsurfing, sailing, skiing, tennis, scuba diving, climbing, and chess.
He is married and has two children and two grandchildren.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Rabia Tanveer for Readers' Favorite

Kaz: War, Love, and Betrayal by Bogdan Kotnis is a historical novel with strong characters, a great plot, and intense action. The story follows the life of the father of the American Cavalry, General Kazimierz Pulaski. Originally a Polish cavalry officer, Kazimierz was removed from the Polish fight for independence wrongfully, but that did not stop him from fighting for the right cause. He believed that American citizens had to fight against British rule with as much zest as his country was fighting against Russia. He couldn’t fight for his country anymore so Kaz did the next best thing; he offered his services and determination to George Washington in the cause to bring freedom to American soil. What happened next brought forward American independence and Kaz was leading the cause from the front.

Giving readers a closer look into the life of Kaz and the war hero he was, author Bogdan Kotnis did due diligence and research to do justice to Kaz and his brilliance. Anyone who paid attention in history class would know who Kazimierz Pulaski was and how important he was for American independence. The attention to detail ensures readers get to know about Kaz more than they did in any history lesson. Bogdan Kotnis went above and beyond to dig deeper into Kaz’s life to paint him as more than just a war hero. I was amazed by the sheer number of characters, overwhelming at first, but Kotnis executed it perfectly. Each chapter made the story more exciting and the fact that it was historically accurate just made it more entertaining for me. The illustrations brought the descriptions to life and enhanced the reading experience! The pace was perfect, and the story was incredible.

K.C. Finn

Kaz: War, Love, and Betrayal is a work of fiction in the historical, thriller, and action subgenres. It is best suited to the general adult reading audience and was penned by Bogdan Kotnis. In this intellectually complex and far-reaching novel, we are introduced to a plethora of different influential figures during the eighteenth century. At the time Russia was at war, attacking Poland, the newly constituted United States was fighting the war with the British. In the middle of all this, General Kazimierz Pulaski takes the helm to do what he believes is right, forfeiting many advantages that flowed from his wealth, family, and identity to battle injustice.

Bogdan Kotnis has crafted a thrilling novel that always has one eye on the modern world. The storylines he has chosen to animate from the pages of history shed a great deal of light on how humanity continues to make excuses for its bad behavior in much the same way today as it did three hundred years ago. Kaz is a fascinating lead figure for the action to focus on, with his roots firmly in one belief system but his heart and sense of justice encamped in another. The conflict, whether psychological, political, social, or emotional, is always treated with layers of sensitivity and with viewpoints shared from different angles. It becomes the reader’s job to make sense of the world they’re thrown into, and that is a most unusual reading experience for a historical novel of this kind. I would certainly recommend Kaz to fans of intelligent and thought-provoking literature.

Asher Syed

Kaz: War, Love, and Betrayal by Bogdan Kotnis is a fictional account built around the real-life heroics of Kazimierz Pulaski, an 18th-century Polish-American legend. The book begins with an extensive history of the Pulaski family through a combination of narrative and dialogue, and a legacy of political might that transitioned from father to son in the Commonwealth of the day. This is the story of Kaz but is also a deep dive into the political and military powerhouses crafted into flesh and blood in this account, from the well-known Voltaire to the lesser-known Tuscarora Chief, Casper Peters. Kotnis covers a wide field from the battlegrounds of Eastern Europe and Kaz's ultimate migration to conversations with none other than General George Washington on what was to become sovereign US soil - an improbable feat were it not for the likes of Kaz.

I went into Kaz by Bogdan Kotnis with no knowledge of Pulaski or the pivotal role he played on two continents. The book blends factual people and events with fictional re-enactments that incorporate private lives, letters, and reimagined conversations against the documented trajectory of the militarily skilled Pulaski. The work as a whole is provided with a touch of realism through the incorporation of period photographs and pieces of historical evidence. The most interesting scenes to me were in his leaving the army he had built up himself and transplanting himself into an American conflict. His primary goal was to restore Poland to her former greatness and this remained the driving force behind every strategic step he took. The writing is clean and clear, and from a literary standpoint, Kotnis has crafted an engaging read that is as informative as it is entertaining. Recommended.

Edward Dusza

My over fifty years of experience as a publisher and editor tells me that Kaz: War, Love, and Betrayal will become an influential book that will improve the perception of Poland in the United States. This historical drama, packed with action and suspense, reveals similarities between Poland and the United States and their role on the global stage. Our understanding of current political concerns is stunted if we treat Poland’s point of view as a nuisance in the dialogue of the critical powers. Kaz helps us understand that ignoring the Polish perspective in today’s Europe is a strategic mistake. Without a Polish voice, any analysis of the current Russian war in Ukraine is flawed and will lead to surprises and shock. Let us enjoy the book and read it with the attention it deserves.

(Senior editor and journalist with decades of experience
Currently Editor of Gwiazda Polarna, Stevens Point, Wisconsin)

Samantha Cornwell

December 2022
Fast-Paced, Beautifully Told Story of Romance, Palace Infighting, and Global Intrigue
Kaz: War, Love, and Betrayal is a book for all times. Retelling the past, Kaz sheds light on current events. This riveting historical adventure, full of engaging twists of action and suspense, helps us understand the current Russian War in Ukraine. General Kazimierz Pulaski (Kaz) forfeits his family’s wealth and steadfast love to battle the Russian and British troops during the 18th-century wars shaping the world as we know it today.

Dr. Bogdan Kotnis, with impressive academic credentials and the experience of 30 years of residency in Europe and 30 years in the United States, paints over one hundred characters on the canvas of the Russian assault on Poland and the American Revolutionary War against the British. Kaz binds these events into a love, commitment, and bravery story. Heroes of this caliber never die. Kotnis brings Kaz into the limelight, treating us to a literary feast of epic proportions.

David Blatt

This is amazing book retelling the story of a hero, sadly lost to the pages of History.