Ambush in the Alleghenies
Deep in the wilderness of western Pennsylvania, a young George Washington suffered his first military defeat, and rekindled a centuries-old feud between Great Britain and France. The battles that followed would be fought across virgin territories, from Nova Scotia to the forks of the Ohio River, and it would decide the fate of the entire North American continent. It is against this setting that William P. Robertson and David Rimer start their exciting new series Ambush in the Alleghenies, four daring trappers get snared in the conflict soon to be known as the French and Indian War.
Robertson and Rimer have spent fifteen years creating their series of seven novels about the famous Civil War rifle regiment, the Bucktails. Now the authors are back with a new adventure set in the wilderness of colonial Pennsylvania. Ambush in the Alleghenies details the exploits of Lightnin’ Jack Hawkins, Bearbite Bob Winslow, Will Big Cat Cutler, and Alexander MacDonald, four mountain men struggling to survive the savage land and fierce enemies.
The book begins with the opening phase of the French and Indian War. George Washington is sent on a spy mission to Pennsylvania. The protagonists, beaver trappers by trade, are dragged into the conflict when the French invade their trapping territory and interfere with their way of life. They meet a very young George Washington, who employs them as scouts. The book finishes two years later with the defeat of British General Edward Braddock near Fort Duquesne.
Robertson and Rimer realistically illustrate the everyday life of Eastern mountain men. The clothing, food, weapons, trapping techniques and even the rough humor are meticulously depicted. There are some great photos are fellow re-enactors which bring the book and time period to life. The book brings history to a younger generation of readers; though I know of more than one adult (other than myself) who is going to love this series.
I find the book to be well researched and a must read for anyone who enjoys historical fiction and action-oriented prose. When I asked William how he writes the novels, he answered, ” The way we write the books is this. First, we both do research to find out the time period. Using the history as the template, we come up with a creative plot. I then write the rough draft and give it to Dave for editing. He corrects the grammar, finds weak places in the plot, and checks for logic and possible historical errors. After that, I add in his corrections and find other mistakes, too. The book goes back and forth five or six times until we work the bugs out of it. I am the creative force behind the books, while Dave is the technical writing expert.” The authors have even included bibliography and a glossary so that interested readers can discover out more about this exciting period of history.
The novel also includes elements of tall tales and myth making, for which the American frontier is known. Each frontiersman possesses strong medicine that enables him to thwart Bold Wolf, an evil Ottawa chief, and their archenemy. Lightnin’ Jack, uses his speed to beat the chief’s gauntlet, while Will Cutler has an amazing skill with weapons.
Danger lurks everywhere in the dense hemlocks of the Alleghenies, with ferocious cougars, scalp-stealing savages, and Frenchmen full of fight. I’m looking forward to the next thrilling book in the series, but in the meanwhile, I think I’ll grow my beard out and practice my shootin’, cause I ain’t planning on getting ambushed or missing the next one…