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At the heart of Coyle's consistently engrossing narrative are: Highlander Ian McPherson (a Culloden veteran exiled to North America in the wake of England's so-called Great Clearance of Scotland); Ensign Anton de Chevalier (bastard son of a minor nobleman, posted to the New France garrison as an officer of artillery); and Captain Thomas Shields (a well-born Londoner who views the colonies as a chance for martial fame and, perhaps, a civilian fortune). In hopes of securing land at the end of his enlistment, Ian marches off in 1754 with a small band of Virginia volunteers under the command of Colonel George Washington—a band that fails, unfortunately, to dislodge the French from Western Pennsylvania. The colonial militia return the next year in company with Redcoat regulars (including Thomas), but with no better results. As the conflict grinds on, it affects the focal characters in various ways. Anton, for example, continues to see God's own glory in the beauty of the woodland battlegrounds, while Thomas (chastened by a near-fatal encounter with a vengeful Indian fighting for the French) lays aside dreams of military honors. As more talented soldiers of the king (Jeffrey Amherst, James Wolfe, et al.) take charge, the tide turns in favor of Anglo-American armies, and in 1759, the Crown's troops win a decisive victory on the Plains of Abraham outside Quebec City. A gravely wounded Thomas resigns his commission to marry a Hudson Valley heiress, Anton soldiers on, and Ian gets his frontier homestead, plus a lusty Irish lass to share it.
Vivid accounts of bloody engagements on New World battlefields where the fate of great empires was decided, and resonant depictions of the men at the sharp end of the bayonet—or tomahawk—make for a splendid period piece.
1754. On one side stand the British, under General Edward Braddock, joined by the American colonial militias: on the other, the French, aided by their Indian allies. From the shores of Lake Champlain to Virginia's Shenandoah Valley, they are locked in battle over the unclaimed territories to the west. While distant kings unleash their armies, it is the men and women of the colonies who feel the fire, the fury, the passion of war. Across the virgin fields, forests and frontiers, they discover courage amid the carnage, hope amid the horror, and a new world of freedom amid the beauty and mystery of a savage wilderness.
Posted July 29, 2014
Posted August 22, 2002
Until this book, this was a period of History that I paid little attention to as it seemed rather boring. But, though this book is fiction, it really has sparked my interest in that time period. Coyle, as always, does a wonderful job of depicting people in war. One scene in particular, about a woman captive and the need for her Indian captives to satisfy their need for food left me shocked for a couple of days afterwards. Coyle's ability to give the reader vivid images makes one wonder how he could be so accurate unless he'd been there himself!! I highly recommend any book by this Author!!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 6, 2000
'Team Yankee' hooked me on this author and I've bought everything he's written since as soon as the hardcovers hit the racks. I love the mix of historical accuracy, rich character development and gritty realism. You find yourself bonding empathically with his characters.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.