Kirkus Reviews QR Code
SARATOGA by David Garland


A Novel of the American Revolution

by David Garland

Pub Date: Dec. 1st, 2005
ISBN: 0-312-32719-6
Publisher: St. Martin's

The first in a Revolutionary War series from a pseudonymous writing machine (70 books and counting).

Stung by treasonous effrontery, Captain Jamie Skoyles has come over from England to help deliver a reality check. Put the rag-tag rebels up against an authentic army, he’s prepared to tell the world, and watch the unseemly insurrection evaporate. It’s 1777, and Skoyles is every inch a patriot—and every inch the ideal career soldier, whose army commission was earned the hard way, on the battlefield through exceptional bravery. Now, a member of the 24th Foot, serving under dashing Johnny Burgoyne, Skoyles prepares to give his all for king and country as the vaunted British war machine gathers its might for a blitz against New York State’s Fort Ticonderoga. Outgunned and undermanned, American soldiers surrender the fort without a serious struggle, an outcome thoroughly predictable to Burgoyne and a bemused senior staff. Omit Skoyles, however, from the chorus of chest-thumping. A patriot, yes, but no fool, he’s begun to sense that there are sides to the American fighting man that may have been only dimly perceived. In the meantime, there’s a smaller (but no less intense) conflict on his hands—a superior officer wants the same woman Skoyles wants. At the Battle of Saratoga, much, though not all, gets resolved.

Woefully short on character nuance, but the Saratoga story retains its freshness—and it’s always fun to see an underdog deliver comeuppance.