Daughters of the Night Sky
Release Date: June 26, 2018
A novel—inspired by the most celebrated regiment in the Red Army—about a woman’s sacrifice, courage, and love in a time of war.
Russia, 1941. Katya Ivanova is a young pilot in a far-flung military academy in the Ural Mountains. From childhood, she’s dreamed of taking to the skies to escape her bleak mountain life. With the Nazis on the march across Europe, she is called on to use her wings to serve her country in its darkest hour. Not even the entreaties of her new husband—a sensitive artist who fears for her safety—can dissuade her from doing her part as a proud daughter of Russia.
After years of arduous training, Katya is assigned to the 588th Night Bomber Regiment—one of the only Soviet air units comprised entirely of women. The Germans quickly learn to fear nocturnal raids by the daring fliers they call “Night Witches.” But the brutal campaign will exact a bitter toll on Katya and her sisters-in-arms. When the smoke of war clears, nothing will ever be the same—and one of Russia’s most decorated military heroines will face the most agonizing choice of all.
“Daughters of the Night Sky was everything I love about historical fiction. Runyan crafts the perfect balance between plot, characters, and setting, all while educating the reader in an unknown part of women's history. At once compelling, tragic, and uplifting, this is one that I will not soon forget.”
—Camille Di Maio, author of The Memory of Us and Before the Rain Falls
“Aimie K. Runyan breathes life into the gripping tale of the Night Witches—Russian female combat pilots in World War II. A page turner!”
—James Shipman, author of A Bitter Rain and It Is Well
“Aimie K. Runyan has combined my three favorite literary topics: historical fiction, World War II, and courageous and strong women. She is an incredible historical fiction writer.”
—Cathy Lamb, author of No Place I'd Rather Be
“A lively and stirring tale of the brave vanguard of female pilots fighting for Russia and, as often, for respect from their male counterparts. As enthralled as I was by this dive into social and military history, it was the humanity of Daughters of the Night Sky that won me over: comrades, lovers, and families swept up and torn apart by war. Runyan delivers a well-paved and heartfelt story that fans of World War II novels should not miss.”
—Sonja Yoerg, author of All the Best People
“Daughters of the Night Sky is a compelling World War II story of bravery, determination, and love set within the Forty-Sixth Taman Guards—Russia’s all-female pilot regiment. Author Aimie K. Runyan brings four unique women vividly to life: Katya, a superb navigator; Taisiya, her pilot and best friend; Oksana, who risks all for love of her country; and Sofia, the major who leads the women to triumph. Highly recommended.”
—M.K. Tod, author of Time and Regret