Format Hardcover
Publication Date 01/02/18
ISBN 9781681776736
Trim Size / Pages 9.3 x 6.3 in / 416

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Red Sky at Noon

A Novel

Simon Sebag Montefiore

The stunning new novel from the New York Times bestselling author of The Romanovs and Jerusalem, set during an epic cavalry ride across the hot grasslands outside Stalingrad during the darkest times of World War II. 

“The black earth was already baking and the sun was just rising when they mounted their horses and rode across the grasslands towards the horizon on fire . . .” Imprisoned in the Gulags for a crime he did not commit, Benya Golden joins a penal battalion made up of Cossacks and convicts to fight the Nazis. He enrolls in the Russian cavalry, and on a hot summer day in July 1942, he and his band of brothers are sent on a suicide mission behind enemy lines—but is there a traitor among them? The only thing Benya can truly trust is his horse, Silver Socks, and that he will find no mercy in onslaught of Hitler’s troops as they push East. Spanning ten epic days, between Benya’s war on the grasslands of southern Russia and Stalin’s intrigues in the Kremlin, between Benya’s intense affair with an Italian nurse and a romance between Stalin’s daughter and a war correspondent, this is a sweeping story of passion, bravery, and survival—where betrayal is a constant companion, death just a heartbeat away, and love, however fleeting, offers a glimmer of redemption. 

Simon Sebag Montefiore’s prize-winning, bestselling novels are published in twenty-seven languages. Red Sky at Noon is the last of the acclaimed “Moscow Trilogy,” which includes Sashenka and One Night in Winter, which was long-listed for the Orwell Prize. Montefiore’s nonfiction books include Jerusalem: The Biography, a #1 Holiday Book Pick on the TODAY show, Young Stalin, winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Biography, and most recently, The Romanovs, which was a New York Times bestseller. Visit him at or on twitter @simonmontefiore.

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Endorsements & Reviews

“Historian, biographer, and novelist Montefiore has garnered critical acclaim and commercial success in each discipline, and his latest demonstrates his deftness in crafting a deeply engaging story that is only enriched by his skills as a historian and biographer. Offering historical accuracy, a fine empathy for his characters, and a story that illuminates the operatic tragedy of Stalin’s rule, Red Sky at Noon is brilliant on multiple levels.” Booklist (starred)
“Montefiore’s third novel in his Moscow Trilogy (after Sashenka and One Night in Winter) is a stunning World War II story set on the bloody Russian front outside Stalingrad in July 1942. Montefiore’s immersive portrayal of the Eastern Front makes this a gripping, convincing tale.” Publishers Weekly (starred)
“The gritty war scenes and the lovers’ pursuit keep the pages turning.” Kirkus Reviews
“Montefiore has legions of fans for his histories (The Romanovs), but his ‘Moscow Trilogy’ (One Night in Winter; Sashenka) opens the floodgates to the imaginative re-creation of archival facts. Benya’s story animates a ten-day, desperate struggle in Stalin’s huge gamble against the Nazi war machine. World War II fiction aficionados will want to read this.” Library Journal
“Written with brio and deep knowledge of the fascinating subject matter.  Deeply satisfying.” The Times "Book of the Month" (London)
“A dispatch from the days of blood and thunder.  Benya's struggle to keep his humanity is the memorable spine of the book.” The Times (London)
“A searing tale of love and war. A homage to the author's favorite Russian writers and the Western masterpieces of Larry McMurtry, Cormac McCarthy, and Elmore Leonard.  Such influences pervade this atmospheric tale told in the author's own distinct voice.  ” The Observer (London)
“Intensely moving, with an unforgettable climax that will touch the hardest heart.” Jung Chang, author of WILD SWANS and MAO
“It's Lonesome Dove meets Stalingrad. A band of outlaws riding and fighting for their lives on sweeping plains—but these bandits are not battling tribes in the Wild West, they are on the grasslands of south Russia at war with Nazi Germany and its ally, the Italians. Our hero is not a Texas Ranger but a Jewish writer named Benya Golden. Montefiore has brought his understand of Russian history to life here with great gusto traversing Gulags, battlefields and Kremlin but Golden is a lover not a fighter...” Leila McKinnon, Women's Weekly (Australia)
“Enthralling. Montefiore, hailed for his works of history and biography, is masterly at sketching scenes—passionate, melancholy, menacing—and limning characters. In a league of its own.” The Wall Street Journal, "Best Book of the Year" (Praise for THE MOSCOW TRILOGY)
“Montefiore is a natural storyteller who brings his encyclopedic knowledge of Russian history to life in language that glitters. Montefiore shows that the historian seeking the truth must call upon creativity as much as upon meticulous research. Here’s hoping we get more spellbinding historical fiction from him.” The Washington Post (Praise for Simon Sebag Montefiore)
“Riveting, evocative, affecting and tragic. Montefiore is a masterful writer and a marvelous storyteller, and the way he peels back the layers propels the reader onward, eager to learn the key to the mystery. ” The Seattle Times (Praise for Simon Sebag Montefiore)