The eighth entry in Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales tackles the early life of the Marquis de Lafayette, hero of the American Revolution.
How it is that Hale (the character) has managed to stay his inevitable execution to tell stories of events yet to happen won’t be clear to new readers, but it’s unlikely they’ll care; Hale (the author) yet again weaves a delightful and engaging narrative sprinkled with silly and scatalogical humor. Recurring characters the Hangman and the Provost return to enthusiastically provide commentary and comedic relief as spy Hale recounts the first half of Lafayette’s exceptional life through the end of his participation in the American Revolution. Fans of Hamilton (to which the title is a reference) will recognize familiar characters: George Washington, of course, but also Alexander Hamilton, le comte de Rochambeau, and Philip Schuyler. The narration never skirts or belittles the grim aspects of Revolutionary-era America (the horrific conditions endured by the militia; white men fighting “for freedom” while they enslave other humans). The majority of the cast is white, with members of the Iroquois Confederacy (who speak in stilted English) and a few people of color (enslaved men and women; a black soldier; a portrait of Alexander Dumas) shown briefly.
Fans of history, Hamilton, and/or Hale’s previous entries will be clamoring for this latest volume. (Graphic historical fiction. 8-12)