When I am offered the chance to read and review a book it is usually of a different historical-fiction genre than this particular work. I read mostly ancient Greek, Roman, etc and also a fair smattering of medieval works dealing with The Crusades or post-Roman Britain. All of those categories are stories that do not take place anywhere near the U.S. where I live, so when given an opportunity to latch onto a work of historical-fiction pertaining to the history of my country, I gleefully grab on, even if, as in this case, it is an alternate history. The year is 1839, the American Revolution had ended in the defeat of the rebels and the landscape is vastly different. Britain, the victors now claim the entire eastern seaboard out to the Mississippi. From the Mississippi to the Rockies is French; from the Rockies to the Pacific is Spanish. This story involves three young friends, Claire, Phileas and Sam who grew up together in New France and who undertake a dangerous journey to track down some vicious killers. The culture they grow up in includes many facets of the unexplainable, paranormal world and one of the friends harbors a terrible family curse and survives a brutal murder attempt on his life by a group of fanatics bent on ridding the world of any who have the same affliction.
The world the author creates is imaginative and is one that it is a believable consequence of Britain defeating the colonial rebellion. It is also imaginative in it’s use of the paranormal. Claire’s ability to influence people plays an important part in the adventure the three friends embark on. The characters, both the good guys and the bad guys, are wonderfully portrayed, the descriptions of the cultures, the landscape, the towns and countryside are delivered in a way that puts the reader in the midst of them. There is plenty of drama, plot twists, and action. I found it to be a refreshing look at a time in history that might have been and I look forward to more from the author. 4 stars and a hearty Hoover Book Reviews recommendation.
About the author:
Born and raised in Appalachia, AshleyRose Sullivan has a BS in Anthropology and an MFA in Creative Writing. She lives, writes and paints in Los Angeles with her husband and their many imaginary friends.
AshleyRose has moved 35 times. She’s been the oldest, the youngest, the middle and the only child. She has worked as a taxidermist’s assistant, a milkmaid, and a story time lady. She’s a power-lifter, a left-handed artist, and a right-handed knitter. Her library is organized by color.