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Posted August 13, 2013
good historical fiction
We have read and enjoyed all three books in Douglas Bond’s “Crown and Covenant Trilogy,” Duncan’s War, King’s Arrow, and Rebel’s Keep, about the M’Kethe family in Scotland during the days when the English kings were trying to stamp out the Scottish Covenanters, ending in some of the M’Kethes emigrating to the new world. Book One, Guns of Thunder, in the sequel series “Faith and Freedom Trilogy,” deals with the involvement of Ian M’Kethe, who lives at Wallop, CT, in the French and Indian War. Book Two, Guns of the Lion, returns the attention to simultaneous events in Scotland. Ian is canoeing with his Native American friend Watookoog from his home in Connecticut to Elizabethtown, NJ, to enroll in Princeton College in 1847. On the way, Ian reads a letter from his cousin, Gavin Crookshank, who is still in Scotland.
It seems that Gavin was impressed, quite against his will, into the army of King George II to fight against the forces of Charles Stuart, better known as Bonnie Prince Charlie, who is coming from France where he has been in exile to claim not only the Scottish throne but the rule of England too. After serving on the H.M.S. Lion and helping to defeat a French ship carrying arms and supplies to the Prince, Gavin is recruited to become a spy for King George in Charlie’s army. Then, when he joins with them, he is sent by Lord George Murray who Charlie’s general, and Dugald MacDonald who has thrown his support to the Prince, to spy on King George’s army! As a double agent, Gavin is in constant danger for his life as the conflict continues, culminating in the fateful Battle of Culloden Moor. Will he survive the battles? Or will he try to escape and return home? And will he ever decide to whom his allegiance belongs—King George, Prince Charles, or someone else?
Not only does Guns of the Lion present good historical fiction related to the Jacobite rebellion of 1745, but it also examines important ethical questions as to how Christians should relate to the political and social struggles of this earth given our dual citizenship. Of course, God must always come first, but how to apply this principle to specific situations is always the big question. Ian knows that he must honor the king—but which one? It is always good to read stories, even fictional ones, about people who strive to live their lives according to Biblical principles. The euphemistic adjective “dashed” is used once, as is the term “hell,” though not as a curse word, and a singular blanked-out curse word occurs. Otherwise, there is nothing objectionable. Robert Case, director of the World Journalism Institute, wrote, “Douglas Bond continues with his Faith and Freedom trilogy to challenge Christian families to raise godly sons and grandsons. Bond refuses to give in to the anti-boy culture as he stresses the obligation of boys to be young men of responsibility and integrity." The final book in the series is Guns of Providence.