A good historical novel must find a balance between accuracy and accessibility Lean too far in the former direction, and the work reads like a textbook Lean too far in the latter, and the writing becomes generic from a lack of period detail This book threads the needle nicely, offering the expertise one would want in order to feel transported to the time and place but enough explanation to acquaint the reader with foreign or obscure esoterica The dialogue is rich with the vocabulary and cadence one would expect from both indigenous peoples and colonists, and the plotline is propulsive enough to keep the reader turning the pages The only issue, at least in the Kindle Paperwhite edition, was the formatting of indents In several places, none occur, which disrupts the narrative But all in all, this book is an entertaining and educational read about a lesser known event in American history. My Father s Kingdom is an excellent historical novel that introduces readers to a relatively little known conflict in US colonial history, King Philip s War, between the Wampanoag Nation and the Plymouth Colony King Philip was the name the colonialists gave to Metacomet, the Sachem Leader of the Wampanoag This very act the brazen temerity of renaming a person of another culture to suit their own convenience, rather than taking the trouble to learn to pronounce his actual name is just one example of the smug racist condescension of the colonialists With such an attitude, together with their grasping greed for land and their determination to resort to intimidation and violence to get it, conflict was inevitable.When the story opens, in 1671, Metacomet is the Sachem of the Wampanoag, having succeeded his older brother Wamsutta after the latter s tragic death nine years earlier Wamsutta died under mysterious circumstances while meeting with the English in Plymouth and the Wampanoag suspect that he may have been poisoned Not unnaturally, they nurse a grudge against the English They also resent and are amazed by the ingratitude of the English just over 50 years earlier, Metacomet s father Massasoit welcomed the Puritans to the New World and saved them from dying from starvation in the wilderness Yet, regardless, the English keep making demands and encroaching on Wampanoag lands and interfering in their affairs Relations deteriorate and, finally, the English leave no room for doubt that they are untrustworthy, unscrupulous scoundrels as, historically and currently, they have shown themselves to be the entire world over , and Metacomet decides he will no longer demean himself and his people by placing any further faith in English peace and English justice.The events unfold mainly through the vantages of Linto, the Powwas of the Wampanoag, and Isaiah Brewster, the Reverend of Middleborough, two well meaning and likable young men who just happen to find themselves in opposite camps One remains in high regard with his Sachem, while the other suffers a downfall at the hands of his intolerant fellow Puritans.James George has done an incredible amount of research for this novel and the writing is strong and held my attention throughout Major and minor characters come alive and matter There is just the right amount of humor I really appreciated the details like Israel Brewster s affection for his flatulent mare, Brownie and his ability to recite the names of Biblical Kings while being hopelessly drunk The description of Reverend John Eliot was just marvelousHis face was framed by stringy strands of mostly gray hair, parted carelessly through the middle of his head Strangers who met him often debated whether he had a moustache, was in the process of growing a moustache, or merely had his upper lip stained by some recent morsel His round eyes seemed to routinely alternate between joy, somber worship, and prankish mischief Though he had spent than six decades on this earth, approximately four of which were spent in the new world, he still boasted tireless energy I was also pleased to find a mention of Anne Hutchinson, one of the historical figures of the period that I find admirable I was aware too of Increase Mather from the Salem Witch Trials, but the rest of the characters I mean to research In the end note, the author has listed a couple of books and links that I will be checking out.The author mentions in the end note that he refrained from resorting to the very formal English that was in fashion in the 17th century I m grateful he also refrained from simplifying the language and the story structure to meet what and seems to be the current fashion.I look forward to the next book in this historical series.Highly recommended. An Alternate Cover For This ASIN Can Be Found HereFaith Love Murder Prophecy WarIn Than One Hundred Devout Men And Women Crossed The Treacherous Atlantic Ocean And Established A Colony In The New World Where They Could Build A Righteous And Godly Society Without The Fortuitous Friendship Of The Wampanoag People And Their Charismatic Leader Massasoit, However, It Is Doubtful The Holy Experiment Would Have SurvivedFifty Years Later Plimoth Colony Has Not Only Survived, It Has Prospered, And And Englishmen Are Immigrating To New England The Blessed Alliance With The Wampanoag, However, Is In Severe Jeopardy Massasoit Has Passed Away Along With Most Of The Original Settlers Of Plimoth Colony, And Their Children And Grandchildren Have Very Different Ideas About Their Historic FriendshipThrust Into The Center Of Events Is Reverend Israel Brewster, An Idealistic Young Minister With A Famous Grandfather And A Tragic Past Meanwhile, Massasoit S Son, Known As King Philip By The English, Is Tormented By Both The Present And The Past He Is Watching The Resources And Culture Of The Wampanoag Nation Fade Away At The Hands Of The English And Desperately Wishes To Restore Hope And Security To His PeopleIn A World Of Religious Fervor, Devastating Sickness, And Incessant Greed, Can The Alliance Of Their Forefathers Survive Or Will New England Feel The Wrath Of Tragic, Bloody War Pride, Perfidy, Prejudice and Peacemakers in Puritan New EnglandWhat can be done to block out the witchcraft of the savages, Reverend A good historical novel manages to capture the spirit and feel of a time and place and somehow transliterate it into terms that make sense to and resonate with, the modern reader This is a good historical novel.This story is set in 1670s, fifty years into the settlement of New England by Europeans from England and in the time of those whose parents and grandparents had been the original colonists on the Mayflower It focuses on the experiences of two communities trying to find ways to co exist The colonists of Plymouth and those whose ancestors have lived in the area for uncounted generations The tragedy of intolerance and lack of willingness to understand another way of life, the way the private and small scale evils of one or two individuals, impact upon their communities in huge ways.Israel Brewster is a minister in one of the puritan colonies He is a man who believes in tolerance, truth and justice Linto is a foundling amongst the Wampanoag, regarded as blessed and holy He is a man who believes in tolerance, truth and justice The book tracks the events that lead to both these men questioning their beliefs having tried to stand up for them in the face of overwhelming self righteousness, greed and ignoranceStrangers who met him often debated whether he had a moustache, was in the process of growing a moustache, or merely had his upper lip stained by some recent morsel The book is not written in some pastiche of Seventeenth Century English, but is fluent and easy to read This is the sort of book where the expectations the reader brings to it would make it easy to take short cuts in terms of detail Characters could be played through as scant stereotypes, but instead each is a well rounded individual with their own views, thoughts, troubles and inspirations The fictional characters mingle well with the historical ones The sense of time and place is well portrayed in the carefully worked in descriptions of everyday life, well blended into the narrative The pace is steady and the events often as shocking to the reader as it must have been to those who lived through them The author also has a wonderful ability to work light, humorous and human moments into the text In fact, my only criticisms would be the occasional clumsy sentence, standing out only because the rest of the writing is good, and the tendency to drift into a little too much recounting now and thenYou think we are ignorant children, and yet your grandfather would have starved to death in Patuxet if we did not pity and intervene This is a well told story It is also based on true events and the research done by the author adds verisimilitude to the narrative It is also to be the first of a series recounting the events of a very dark time in early colonial American history, King Philip s War I am looking forward to the next volume 4.5 stars. Silly me I started the series with Book 2 I had to do some backtracking and discover the climate and politics that led up to the horrific early American conflict known as King Phillip s War As I stated in my review of his second book, J.W George has opened my eyes to a period of time in our history about which I previously knew absolutely nothing My Father s Kingdom provides a fictionalized account of the actual events that preceded King Philip s War Mr George uses a fascinating juxtaposition of viewpoints giving the reader detailed and emotional glimpses into the politics, causes, and characters on both sides of the conflict Though my original inclination is to side with the glorified version of the early Pilgrims and members of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, this account exposed me to an entirely different depiction of the people and their politics Truly, this period inquisition, accusation, and disregard of the value of the natives of the land was the dark ages of our history.Once again, I found myself identifying strongly with the native, Linto, and his English counterpart, Israel Brewster Both characters, in remarkably different and yet similar fashion, learned how devious the religious and political leaders of Plymouth Colony could be These are not depictions or events that one is likely to learn about in the average class on early American history.As a fan of historical fiction, I appreciated the way in which the author introduced small tidbits of the original language, without burdening the reader with the frustrating complexities of old English I also enjoyed the descriptions of the work of a cooper, and the products that such a tradesman made The narrative and text, though complex, are vivid, well constructed and very readable.Overall, My Father s Kingdom is solid, enjoyable historical fiction It is a relatively short book, so it provides for a smooth, easy read I heartily recommend it to all who enjoy works of period fiction. This story was a brilliantly written historical novel The story of Massachusetts Bay and the conflicts between the European immigrants and the Wampanoag people and others has always been a sad part of American history I think the author did a fantastic job bringing historical figures and fictional characters to life, interacting with each other, giving personality and humanity to what would otherwise be just a dry history lesson These were real people, and their conflicts were real and often devastating I hope that I will have the chance to read further books in this series This book was very well written and researched, and I highly recommend it As an author and reader of historical fiction, I was pleased to discover My Father s Kingdom by James W George, and looked forward to immersing myself in the tale I was not disappointed As other reviewers have stated, this work is a page turner, and an accurate interpretation of a critical period in New England and colonial history The plot moves at a fast clip, and covers a lot of ground in short order The historical setting is precise and the author s characters are well developed I soon found myself relating to the noble qualities and efforts of the young Native American powwas Linto , and his European ally, the Reverend Israel Brewster I cheered them both on, even as I realized the inevitable injustice and tragedy that history had in store for them The prejudices of the day are fully articulated in a manner that made me feel as if I was there experiencing them On a personal note, it was interesting to learn of the victimization of another Mary Dyer in our colonial history I m looking forward to reading the next in this series by Mr George, and I recommend this story for everyone, but especially for lovers of native and colonial America You won t be disappointed My Father s Kingdom is a fascinating story beginning with the Pilgrims crossing the Atlantic Ocean settling in Pilmoth Colony and developing a friendship with the Wampanoag people.Author, James W George, does the reader a favor with brief descriptions of the characters, both fictional and historical, in the first few pages The leaders of the Wampanoag nation desperately try to maintain their beloved culture and prosperity as conflict begins with the new settlers In history, this conflict is known as King Phillip s War.Throughout the story, vivid descriptions of complicated characters will fuel your interest and find you cheering for one or the other Israel Brewster makes for one of the interesting characters as does the historical Puritan minister, Increase Mather.The historical time depicted in the novel provides one with an appreciation of early New England history, the Wampanoag leaders, and our forefathers.I have great admiration for James W George for the dedicated research completed to bring the story to reality and look forward to the second book in the trilogy. My Father s Kingdom firmly adheres to what I learned about history, and yet elaborates, and intensifies the personal strife that occurs between people of the same village, and between people of different tribes It makes history come alive It s exciting It s fresh It s real I took several history classes I did well, I learned the material But to be frank, those books were rather factual, and not lively at all My Father s Kingdom is extremely well researched, and definitely factual I learned the same material from this book as I did from my textbooks, but I enjoyed reading this book so much than those textbooks This book made the characters come alive in a story setting There are bad guys, and good guys, and even good guys who do bad things That s the kind of material that really sinks into my head, and stays there The period of time becomes fascinating, and gripping, and, above all, memorable In this way, this novel connects history to the modern reader James W George made this period in our history extremely memorable Struggles and bloodshed that gave our country peace need to be remembered, and maybe even lived thru reading this book Peace and human rights have a long history of bloodshed and warfare To dismiss something of this importance, leaves one vulnerable to repeating history For that reason alone, people should read this book It transcends one s preferred genre, and finds itself at the top of everyone s must read list of books. What I liked most about My Father s Kingdom were its protagonists the devout, hard working and enlightened reverend Israel Brewster and the fascinating, grounded yet brilliant Linto, who do a fantastic job of tying together all the historical characters and events in the novel But I wouldn t want to take away from the supporting characters, which are equally well drawn and convincing in their roles I admit that I had no prior knowledge of King Philip s War, and only a very basic acquaintance with 17th century New England and the history of early America, but I was so engrossed in the story James W George tells that I found myself researching the era to learn In this regard, my first thought after finishing the novel was a wish that the author had started off with a brief introduction to this particular war as it stands in the annals of history The Author s Notes at the end help clarify the importance of the period, but for novices like me, a portion of these placed at the beginning may have helped better prepare me for what was to come.This is a very well written novel a few instances of poorly chosen adjectives and a short stretch of monotonous paragraphs in the middle bear only a parenthetical mention with a narrative tone befitting the era I was engaged from beginning to end, and stirred by the stories of noble characters forced to come to terms with crushing disappointment in their fellow man Maps and a list of characters mentioning which are historical and which are fictional at the beginning were very helpful Though I understand the limitations of historical fiction in staying true to actual events, I wished the ending was satisfying in terms of concluding the emotional journey My Father s Kingdom is the first book in the series and if the next is a continuation of this tale, then George has succeeded in hooking me.
James W George is a lover of history and historical fiction He is a graduate of Boston University and a military veteran He is currently residing in Virginia with his wife and children.He published his critically acclaimed debut novel, My Father s Kingdom, in January 2017 The novel, set in 1671 New England, depicted the prelude to King Philip s War The Indie View gave it five stars This i
- Kindle Edition
- 202 pages
- My Father's Kingdom: A Novel of King Philip's War
- James W. George
- 03 January 2019 James W. George