"The first link in a chain of evils...the loss of America" is how Sir Henry Clinton, Britain's commander-in-chief in the Colonies, describes the decisive American victory at the battle of Kings Mountain. This fact-based novel brings the events leading to that battle into sharp focus through the highly personal experiences of families and individuals who shaped its outcome.
Through the eyes of Jacob Godley, A Passel of Hate brings to life the hardships and challenges of frontier living where there is a constant threat from Indians, roving raiders and British invaders. Without government orders or formal training, mountain and piedmont patriots join together with their own weapons and horses to expel a British led Loyalist army that plunders the western Carolina countryside, delivering harsh retribution to those supporting rebellion.
Jacob and his 15-year-old brother enter the savage fighting with the Liberty Men, but with a dread of having to face their three Loyalist brothers. The overwhelming victory at Kings Mountain is bittersweet for Jacob who suffers a crushing personal tragedy on the battlefield. In addition, his nemesis, the notorious Tory raider Rance Miller escapes, and Jacob, consumed by hatred, tracks the terrorist through the Carolina backcountry to seek the revenge he so desperately needs.
A battle Thomas Jefferson called "the turn of the tide of success," Kings Mountain has a devastating impact on the British Army's goal of quashing the rebellion in the south. Brutal in its depiction of the harrowing nature of war and the price paid by our revolutionary ancestors, A Passel of Hate is a powder keg of highly charged personal feelings and military significance.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Reviewed by Scott Skipper for Readers' Favorite When most people think of pivotal Revolutionary War battles, they focus on Lexington and Concord, Bunker Hill, Trenton, and Yorktown. In A Passel of Hate, Joe Epley shows us the gritty truth about the key battle that took place on the Western Carolina frontier at a place known as King’s Mountain, which paved the way for the end game at Yorktown. The guerrilla war that had been raging in the piedmont of North and South Carolina escalated to a showdown when General Cornwallis sent Major Patrick Ferguson on a mission to recruit a substantial Tory militia in the area of modern Charlotte. Simultaneously, the Whigs were amassing a militia to deal with the threat. The divisiveness of the times — not entirely unlike present times — saw families taking opposite sides, fighting while hoping not to kill loved ones, and returning home to glare at one another across the dinner table. Few modern Americans would argue that the Revolution was anything but a just and necessary struggle for freedom, however, this was far from the case at the time. Loyalists and Rebels were nearly evenly divided with plenty of the undecided simply wanting to be left alone. A Passel of Hate tells the story of a decisive battle, and the prelude to it, via the personal viewpoints of the participants. The book exposes the barbarity perpetrated by both sides, as well as the in-fighting, primarily in the camp of the Whigs, and the complicating factor of concurrent Indian depredation. Joe Epley shows us clearly how tenuous and costly American independence really was. My love of history, and familiarity with the area where the battle took place, drew me to this book and I was not disappointed. The pace is exhilarating, the depth of Joe Epley’s knowledge of the time and place is astounding, and the prose is satisfyingly straightforward. The character development is excellent as well. I have to say that the reader must pay close attention due to frequent point-of-view changes to avoid becoming lost in the labyrinth of partisan intrigue, but this did not detract from my enjoyment of the story. I certainly hope Mr. Epley is working on his next offering.
"A Passel of Hate" rates 5 stars, hands down in my opinion. What better combination than Historical Fiction and an excellent story following characters that you'll grow to love and hate as the sad but (generally) true tale progresses toward its fated end. I absolutely loved this book, and I think the first thing I'll do, now that I've finished it, is to read it again. Following the lives of early Americans struggling to raise families in a largely untamed land that's become all the worse for a rebellion that splits friends and family down the lines of Whigs and Tories, who occasionally have enough sense in their heads to ally themselves against the common enemies of dishonorable men and Cherokee raids largely supported by English advisers and supporters. The Pro's - excellent story, very well told, and though it is fiction, I love the fact that you can see the dirt and grit on the faces of the men and women living these stories, and know that their lives are not dissimilar to the lives of their real-life counterparts in the late 1700's. The plot develops very well, and the characters become so human that you'll likely be as torn as they were themselves when killing their own neighbors, friends, and occasionally family because of hasty decisions that they were often forced into making to begin with. The Con's - I would have liked to have known a bit more about the real history behind this story, but even this is somewhat of a mixed con because I'm now motivated to look into the matter myself, which is one of the reasons I love reading historical fiction. My only other complaint is that I now have to wait until Mr. Epley writes his next historical fiction. Seriously, it was that good. Thanks for the great read!
The detail and the description of relationships and events in Passel of Hate are absolutely powerful. This is a magnificent book by an author who clearly did a significant amount of research. "Page turner" is an overused phrase, but it's true in this case. I couldn't wait to get to the next episode. If you want to read a fine book that has the potential to be a fine movie, this is one to consider.