In 1675, when the English hold on New England was still fragile, one Indian, King Philip, organized the seperate Algonquin tribes into one powerful, military force with a single objective - to drive the English settlers back into the sea. King Philip's War almost did just that.
For a year Algonquin forces terrorized English settlements. Out of ninety New England towns, fifty-two felt the ferocity of the Algonquin attack. Twelve were completely destroyed before the English regained the upper hand. To the settlers, King Philip represented all that was despicable about the Indians. They considered him a wicked savage, a devilish scoundrel.
But to himself, he wasn't even King Philip.
He was -
Metacomet - sachem of the Algonquin. But he did agree with the English on one thing. This was his war.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Metacomet's war is a fictionalization of the war between the Plymouth settlers and the Algonquin Metacomet. It switches voice from third person omniscient to a first person account as told by Metacomet depending on who Chivers wants to be telling the story. This adds a lot to the novel because i allows the author to speculate on Metacomet's inner motivations and to humanize a figure who we really don't know that much about. Overall, I found the book to be very interesting, and Chiver's descriptions of the events were well written. He really allows the reader to envision what it would have been like to witness seventeenth century warfare, and he does a nice job of bringing home to the reader the idea that Metacomet was a real person with human motivations who was simply trying to defend his homeland. The major drawback of the novel was poor editing. In places, the language used is awkward with some misplaced prepositions that tend to disrupt the flow of the book. Worse than that was page 50 of the book when Jonas Townsend's name suddenly changed to Jason Townsend. I had to reread the passage to realize that Jason and Jonas were the same person. Other than that, I found Metacomet's War to be a worthwhile read, and I recommend it to others who are interested in historical fiction from that time period.
This book was not easy for me to read as the many very vivid descriptions of the battles were so graphic. Metacomet¿s battles were not only with his sworn enemy, the English, but also with other tribes of Indians who he was forever attempting to enlist in the great war with the English; the war that would finally and forever push them into the sea. The many wrongs done to the Indians during this time period and the preceding years are capably enumerated by author David Kerr Chivers to such a degree that I could completely understand the Indians bitter resentment of the English. One could draw many parallels to the political scene today as we are still endeavoring to garner allies to oppose our enemies with many similar arguments as Metacomet put forth in his campaign to defeat the English. I did find the heavy use of italics quite tedious and irksome to read as Chiver¿s scenes switched back and forth between the English and the Indian vantage points. (Maybe a different font would have improved that somewhat)
This novel tells the story of Metacomet (or as he was known by the English" King Philip) who organized the Algonquins to fight the English in 1675. It was the last time a war was fought by the Native Americans with the hope to push the English back into the sea, and drive them away forever. Dozens of town were attacked and many destroyed. Settlement was pushed back a generation by the war, although in the end the English proved too strong.The novel imagines (within known historical boundaries) the struggle of metacomet in uniting the many diverse tribes, and waging war against an overwhelming enemy.I wrote it, so take the rating with a grain of salt. But that's what the book is about.