Kestrel’s historical novel imagines life on the battlefield during the French and Indian War in the 1750s.
In this sequel, Kestrel (The Rule of Ranging: Eclipse Of The Midnight Sun, 2012) paints a bloody picture of the hand-to-hand combat that took place throughout North America as the French and the British fought one another to gain influence in the region. Kestrel details the gory brutalities, leaving little to the imagination. The protagonist, Finn, leaves behind his family and the love of his life, Rosie, and eventually joins the Rogers Rangers—a company attached to the British army that assisted with reconnaissance and special operations. Forging a new family with his wartime band of brothers—Gus Equiano, Marcus Fronto and Daniel Nimham—Finn struggles with loneliness and the emotional toll of war. The novel offers a window into a pivotal period in American history. To his credit, Kestrel avoids romanticizing war; however, pedestrian, anachronistic dialogue sometimes overshadows the narrative (“Raymond, memories can be a pain in the ass when you get to be my age”). Furthermore, most of the women are one-dimensional and serve only one purpose: to pleasure men. In fact, at times it’s hard to tell if the book is historical fiction or erotica, as men can jump from battlefield to bedroom in a page. A saving grace is the independent, savvy Catherina Brett, who unofficially becomes “one of the boys” as well as a mercurial love interest for Finn.
At times sanguine and seedy; teems with action, adventure and the many complications that come with war.