The Last Checkmate

The Last Checkmate

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A PopSugar Best Book of the Year!

Readers of Heather Morris's The Tattooist of Auschwitz and watchers of The Queen's Gambit won't want to miss this amazing debut set during World War II. A young Polish resistance worker, imprisoned in Auschwitz as a political prisoner, plays chess in exchange for her life, and in doing so fights to bring the man who destroyed her family to justice.

Maria Florkowska is many things: daughter, avid chess player, and, as a member of the Polish underground resistance in Nazi-occupied Warsaw, a young woman brave beyond her years. Captured by the Gestapo, she is imprisoned in Auschwitz, but while her family is sent to their deaths, she is spared. Realizing her ability to play chess, the sadistic camp deputy, Karl Fritzsch, decides to use her as a chess opponent to entertain the camp guards. However, once he tires of exploiting her skills, he has every intention of killing her.

Befriended by a Catholic priest, Maria attempts to overcome her grief, vows to avenge the murder of her family, and plays for her life. For four grueling years, her strategy is simple: Live. Fight. Survive. By cleverly provoking Fritzsch's volatile nature in front of his superiors, Maria intends to orchestrate his downfall. Only then will she have a chance to evade the fate awaiting her and see him punished for his wickedness.

As she carries out her plan and the war nears its end, she challenges her former nemesis to one final game, certain to end in life or death, in failure or justice. If Maria can bear to face Fritzsch--and her past--one last time.



Author: Gabriella Saab
Publisher: William Morrow & Company
Published: 10/19/2021
Pages: 416
Binding Type: Paperback
Weight: 0.65lbs
Size: 7.95h x 5.12w x 1.10d
ISBN: 9780063141933

Review Citation(s):
Library Journal Prepub Alert 05/01/2021 pg. 12
Publishers Weekly 08/09/2021
Booklist 10/01/2021 pg. 32