In Endicott’s first installment of his historical fiction series, girl-hero Molly Lake fights to reunite her family while a European war for North America rages.
From the first page, Molly Lake is on a mission. Her baby brother has been pitilessly murdered and her mother carried away by French soldiers, so Molly’s vengeful father, with his daughter in tow, sets out to save his wife and reunite the family. The time is 1759 and French and British forces are battling for control of portions of North America. Endicott’s book reads like a blockbuster movie; chapters are a few pages in length, cliffhangers abound and characters are drawn economically, for maximum effect. This is an action-packed story, the cast of characters drawn in bold, primary colors. Molly is a familiar, plucky heroine; the beautiful kind of tomboy who can win over the most hardened, notorious of seamen, the sort of girl who can fearlessly battle Micmac Indians, deploy her flawless French to fool French citizenry of her identity and even become the most dangerous of military assets—a spy who also sees good in some who are supposed to be her enemies. Again and again, Molly’s cleverness, fortitude and generous heart save her from mortal danger. Endicott’s past life in the military is on full display here; the author details military strategy with the precision and care that some writers devote to character development. This is not a book for readers who want complex characters, nuanced personal dynamics or original dialogue. Only in the final 100 or so pages does the heroine act like an adolescent girl coming of age among men. In those pages, Molly breaks hearts and realizes that she’s in the thralls of first love, despite the inevitable dangers of her desire. While most of the characters are familiar standards in an action story, the star of the book is its setting. Colonial-era military practices and Quebec itself are lovingly described, becoming a rich backdrop for action.
A superbly researched book about the French and British fight for North America, Endicott’s story muscles through adventure after adventure, all seen through the eyes of an undeniable heroine.