Title: The Rule of Ranging 1: Eclipse of the Midnight Sun (Volume 1)
Author: Timothy M. Kestrel
Genre: Historical Fiction
Reviewer: Dick Geschke
ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 0615730086
Even those waging the fiercest battles just hew to hard fast rules that separate the soldier from the savage. And when a man’s home is destroyed beyond restoration, it’s up to him alone to forge a code and carve a new place to live in peace. The Rule of Ranging 1: Eclipse of the Midnight Sun is the epic action-adventure drama by Timothy M. Kestrel that follows the fearless Finn on a journey paved with bloodthirsty aggressors, mysterious women, and the rough terrain of a fledgling America. Both grave and uplifting, it’s an absorbing flight of fancy and derring-do. Set in the eighteen century, Kestrel’s story is a work of historic fiction that relives the most perilous days of the French & Indian War. The story begins in Finland, just as a young boy named Finn witnesses the complete annihilation of his home village, as well as the brutal killing of his family by marauding Russians. He barely manages to escape, chased by a merciless Hessian mercenary, Johan Kopf, nicknamed Totenkopf. Following his dying mother's wish to find a mysterious woman named Columbia, Finn's course takes him across the Atlantic. He befriends a slave, Gus, and buys his freedom. On their travels in this brave new world called America, the two make their way through the majestic Hudson Valley in New York, and soon encounter Marcus Fronto, a curious vagrant and philosophical mentor; Daniel Nimham, a fierce Wappinger chief and warrior; and beautiful Catherina Brett. They join forces with Robert Rogers Rangers, and fight against the French at Fort Edward, New York, during the Hudson River campaign in the 1750s. Action-packed and rigorously researched, the story offers a rare vantage of a crucial time in this country’s coming of age that is at once funny, heartbreaking, illuminating, and thrilling. Mining the depths of love, freedom, greed, and loyalty, it’s a page-turning, heart-pounding read that is at once scholarly and scintillating – steeped in history with a death-defying hero for the ages.