Sunday, April 15, 2012

The Gauntlet Runner by S. Thomas Bailey ~ review

  • Paperback: 220 pages
  • Publisher: iUniverse (November 15, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1462051235
  • ISBN-13: 978-1462051236

Book Description

November 15, 2011
Private Jacob Murray, a twenty-six-year-old Pennsylvanian volunteer in the ranks of George Washington's Virginia Provincial Militia, is scouting the dense, almost impassable Ohio Valley wilderness in May 1754. Together with his twin brother, Israel, and two Mingo warriors, Jacob searches for a party of French troops encroaching on British soil. Back at home, Murray's wife, Maggie, and their four children carve out a meager existence until a group of French and Huron war parties raid their small farm. Taken captive, they are unsure if they will live to see their husband and father again. With word spreading that French-backed Huron raiding parties are decimating the Pennsylvania countryside and taking white captives, young Major Washington, Murray, and a French officer bent on revenge are destined to cross paths. As three hostile powers continue to vie for control of the coveted Ohio Valley, a war soon begins that will engulf them all. The Gauntlet Runner tells a tale of fractured lives, broken treaties, and the stark realities of the struggles faced by early American settlers as they risk their lives to cultivate the young, formidable nation.

My take on this book:
In 1754 Jacob Murray and his twin brother Israel  leave their homes, wives and children to sign up for a six month stint with the Virginia Militia which is lead by George Washington, who is trying to secure the Ohio Valley against the French.Jacob quickly rises to the rank of Corporal and looks forward to battle, but when tragedy strikes Jacob rethinks his enlistment and wants to return home to his wife Maggie. Little does he know that shortly after he left home that farms in his area were raided by Huron Indians, and his family was taken captive. Will Jacob ever see his family again?

This novel takes the reader on an epic journey back in time when Indians still roamed the woods and the French and English were battling for control of the Ohio Valley. I found myself mesmerized with this story. The author weaves together enough fiction with facts to make for a very realistic story. There were two story lines going on with this book. One was the adventures of Jacob and his brother, and the other was the story of the captives and Maggie, which was actually my favorite parts of the story. There were a few unsettling descriptions of the treatment that the captives received from the Indians, but it lent a more realistic feel to the story.  Not only did the author do a brilliant job of bringing the two story lines together he leaves the reader with a real cliffhanger that has this reader wanting to know the rest of the story! An added bonus for this book was the timeline of important events that he includes at the ending of the story. Anyone who enjoys a very well researched, fictionalized story  that gives a glimpse of early  American history will certainly enjoy this one
An e-book version of this book was reviewed for Reader'sFavorite.

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