In the sequel to The Pox Party (2006), Octavian Nothing escapes the College of Lucidity and flees to British-controlled Boston, where he will swear fealty "to whoever offers emancipation with the greatest celerity." When Lord Dunmore offers manumission to slaves joining the British counterrevolutionary forces, Octavian joins the Royal Ethiopian Regiment off the coast of Virginia. He not only fights the rebels but records the stories of his fellow Africans and escaped slaves so their names and stories will not be lost. In so doing, Octavian receives a first-hand education quite different from his classical training and offers readers an African-American perspective neglected in most sources on the period. Elegantly crafted writing in an 18th-century voice, sensitive portrayals of primary and secondary characters and a fascinating author's note make this one of the few volumes to fully comprehend the paradoxes of the struggle for liberty in America. Prefaced by an outline of volume one, this can stand alone, but readers who finish both will feel that they have been part of a grand and special adventure. (Historical fiction. 14 & up) Read full book review >
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