It took time for the novel to come together but once momentum was found, it was an infectious read. My initial struggles involved the lack of clarity among the characters, a dense plot involving many angles that eventually pay off, and a lack of pace in the first half of the book. The colonial America envisioned by Pattison harkens back to the atmosphere and detail employed by James Fenimore Cooper. He introduces Scots, Irish, Welsh, English, and the various tribes occupying the Eastern seaboard up to the Great Lakes. The affinity between the displaced Highlanders and the tribes is based on historical fact and makes for an amazing backdrop for the novel. Many mysteries make up the plot including murder, sedition, greed, class, race, spirituality, and an old world facing eradication in the face of rapid change. It may take some work to get through all that goes on in this ambitious story but you will be rewarded. I look forward to Pattison's follow-up.
This book is full of great ideas but is executed with clumbsy writing. I found the story difficult to follow and the characters only partially realized. I finished it ... but I forced myself to ... not high praise. On the upside, I learned a lot about early American history ... well researched, realistic depiction of the time.