I have always been both a fan of history and of underdogs. Being American, I relate to American history as my history – at least for the last four hundred years. Otherwise, I like to adopt British history as mine. In my opinion, there are few (if any) better examples of a true-life underdog overcoming the odds than the story of the American Revolution.
This time period has always fascinated me. I like the simple design and look of the cities, the clothing, the weapons, and the curious and variant military tactics employed.
There were also a number of other reasons. One of them is the fact that there were many peculiar and intriguing characters who had major impacts on the war and, as a result American history, that most people don’t know about. People like Daniel Morgan and Francis Marion, for example. I tried to pay some respect to those people as well a few of the lesser known but really amazing stories.
There are also two issues that for some reason really bother me and I put some serious book time into fixing these misconceptions. One of them is that Paul Revere gets most or all of the credit for the midnight ride. When, in fact, of the three main riders, he was by far the least successful – and the only one to be captured. Many people don’t even know whom Dawes and Prescott are. As a result, those two have major roles in my story.
The second issue is the way that Benedict Arnold is perceived. He is a traitor; that is all anyone knows about him. In truth, he was one of the most aggressive and bold military minds of his era. He was on the front lines all the time and earned the respect of his soldiers. Further, if not for his individual actions at Valcour Bay, the United States would have lost the war in its first year. In addition, Arnold was one of the most crucial men, perhaps the most crucial, at the Battle of Saratoga. That battle was the turning point that really led to total victory. So it could be argued, and I think with validity, that Arnold was the person most responsible for America achieving independence. Yes, he became a traitor. But for a series of reasons that are too long to go into here. And he was an arrogant guy, but if you look at how he handled himself as an American leader versus his role as a British leader, then it is clear his heart was not in being a traitor. This story also plays a role in the book.
I hope that didn’t bore too many people and explained why I chose this time period. As an added bonus, I love supernatural creatures and if there is one thing that the great stories of the Revolution lack, it’s cool creatures.
The book itself is full of comedy and action and, although there is quite a bit of history in it, it does not read like a textbook as I fear this post may. Also, there’s a dragon. How can you go wrong with dragons?
“Gather ‘round people and you shall hear
about a bunch of bullshit that is clear.
Of riders and horses and monsters too;
your parents lied – they can still get you.
Hardly anyone who was there is alive
to dispel the rumor, uncover the lies,
but there was more than one man who rode that day
and more than just Redcoats who got in their way.”
Along the way, Longfellow lost something in his translation it seems.
Everyone has heard of the French and Indian War and the American Revolution. However, they have not heard about them this way! The American founding fathers had a lot more to deal with at the end of the 18th century than tariffs and tea; avoiding hurled trees from Wendigos and gargoyles falling from the sky took a lot of patience. How is Samuel Prescott supposed to hunt the leader of the Rippers when the British keep infringing upon the colonists’ rights?
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Genre – Alternate History
Rating – PG13
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