Mason, who alternates between Colonel North's intrigues and American historical novels, has this time discovered some original subject material about the gloomiest years of the Revolutionary War. The British have invaded the Carolinas. The Rebels are losing everywhere and General Washington has drawn up a plan to set up a separate Rebel state in Tennessee after the war. Tennessee, however, is a completely unsettled virgin wilderness prized by the Indian nations. Many Rebels, disconsolate over their impending defeat and unwilling to go home and serve King George, are now banding together and have decided to face out the Indians in order to remain free men. The story deals with their epic midwinter trek to Tennessee, in time to lay in spring crops, and it concludes with the final settlement and how a British ""invasion"" was resisted.... The research here is impressive; the eight or nine major characters rise above their types; and the whole story of the ""Phoenix Republic"" is engrossingly energetic. A good one.