Plot: The author weaves an intriguing tale that spans two continents and depicts the long-forgotten era of the settlement of Jamestown. The author does a great job crafting a interesting storyline that holds the reader's interest.
Prose/Style: The author is a gifted writer who is able to mimic the language style from the time period depicted in the work. The even prose aids the story's evenly-paced flow, which maintains the reader's interest throughout.
Originality: This a unique work with distinctive characters. While the setting is historical, the story line is a work of original fiction.
Character Development/Execution: The author effectively creates distinctive and original characters. The reader is able to learn much about the characters from their actions in response to the circumstances in which they find themselves.
Date Submitted: June 20, 2021
The men’s friendship illustrates opposing viewpoints of early settlers’ adjustment to Jamestown. While Matthew hardens to the reality that the settlement is not a promised land brimming with gold, Richard struggles to learn survival skills, falls in love with an Englishwoman, and insists on his mission to “begin the world over again, the way it should be” by spreading “the light of Christianity.” Both men's morals are tested as they face the harsh reality for the unprepared English settlers, striving to find food in a punishing winter. Meier doesn’t sugarcoat the settlers’ attacks against the Native Americans or the retaliations: the brutality of Jamestown life, and the battles between the Native Americans and the English, are deftly laid out with clarity and power, inviting readers to experience them alongside Matthew.
History and fiction blend perfectly in this vivid account of early settlement in an unforgiving new land where morals are tested and sins are committed. Those who grew up learning the stories of Jamestown in history classes will recognize many characters, such as Captain Ratcliffe, Powhatan Chief Opechancanough, Captain Davis, and Sir Percy. Meier provides a detailed map so readers can easily follow along with the characters’ movements.
Takeaway: This well-researched novel of early Jamestown will grab readers seeking a fresh look at history.
Great for fans of: Connie Lapallo, Tony Williams’s The Jamestown Experiment.
Design and typography: A
Marketing copy: B+