Swerling's sweeping fictional account of the French and Indian War rivals Harold Coyle's 1997 novel, Savage Wilderness, in its masterful treatment of the hardship, brutality and treachery of America's colonial wars. Covering the years 17541760, with the British, French and Indians slaughtering each other for king and empire, Swerling tells of two men who straddle the white and red man's worlds, desperate to preserve the best of each culture, but fearful they will lose everything they love. Quentin Hale is a gentleman turned scout whose family owns a prosperous New York plantation called Shadowbrook. He is white, but also follows the Indian ways of his adopted tribe, the Potawatomi. Cormac Shea is part-Irish and part-Indian, nearly a brother to Hale, but he wants all whites driven from Canada. Together these men find themselves caught up in a bloody war neither wants, but they must fight to save the plantation and create a homeland for the Indians. Hale faces treachery at home from his sadistic and greedy elder brother, John; from a scheming one-eyed Scot; and from lying, corrupt politicians who want to steal his legacy; he also has an Indian enemy who wants to cut out his heart. Hale and Shea fight in many battles, mostly massacres, from Louisbourg and Fort William Henry to the climactic battle at Quebec. Surrounding them are colorful historical figures like the young George Washington, the hapless General Braddock and the powerful Ottawa chief, Pontiac. Swerling also cleverly reveals the arrogant influence of the Catholic Church in politics, the duplicity of governmental promises and the forced migration of Acadians from Nova Scotia. The complexity of the history involved may daunt some readers, but most will be captivated by Swerling's intricate plot, colorful characters and convincing descriptions of colonial life.
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After her success in vividly detailing colonial New York in City of Dreams (2001), Swerling turns her attention to mid-eighteenth-century Ohio, where the French and Indian War inflames passions and sparks intrigue in the inhabitants of this richly fertile region. At the center of the story are Quentin Hale, the rebellious younger son of the prosperous Shadowbrook plantation, and Cormac Shea, the son of a Potowatomi woman and an Irish fur trader. Raised together on the plantation, Quent and Corm are caught up in the ever-growing hostilities between the English and^B the French. Underscoring the dramatic tension and fast-paced action is the blood feud brewing between the Shadowbrook heirs and the tender love story evolving between Quentin and Nicole Crane, a beautiful young Frenchwoman who has committed her future to the Poor Clares religious order. This spellbinding historical adventure highlights an often overlooked episode on the road to American independence. Margaret Flanagan
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I just loved this, couldn't put it down until the end. I, like other reviewers, learned more about this time in American history, the French and Indian Wars, than I ever did in our... Read morePublished on March 3 2007 by Misfit
This volume covers a period (1754 - 1760) skipped over in the earlier book about the strife during the War concerning the New York plantation near the Hudson River and two men... Read morePublished on March 13 2004 by Betty Burks
In SHADOWBROOK, the North America of the mid eighteenth century springs to life in a riveting, violent, and touching novel. Read morePublished on March 12 2004 by Daniel Kalla