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Reviewed by Grant Leishman for Readers' Favorite
Liberty’s Flight by John Hamilton Gordon II takes us back to eighteenth-century Scotland and the infamous battle of Culloden, when the English Army, led by the Duke of Cumberland, routed the Jacobite Sottish rebels. Seventeen-year-old Alexander Gordon somehow survives the carnage and, fleeing the English pursuers, sets off on a dangerous trek across Scotland, to the sea, thence to Belfast and finally on a ship for the New World and the burgeoning colony of Philadelphia. Along the way, Alex makes new comrades and fights new and exciting battles against all manner of foes. Once ensconced in America and now a man of means, Alex sets about creating a life for himself, his friends, and ultimately his family. It is a life that will take him into the wilds of the Great Lakes area and pit him against the French, the Canadian Indians, and ironically will ally him with his old enemy, the English, as the European superpowers square off in a battle for control of the vast colonies that are America. Along the way, Alex will learn the meaning of friendship, love, and loyalty.
Liberty’s Flight is historical fiction with a deep grounding in real events, which is something I always look for in a historical fiction novel. Author John Hamilton Gordon II clearly has a family history that encompasses the period covered in the novel and his love of family and his antecedents comes through in every word and action of the young hero, Alexander Gordon. What I particularly enjoyed in this story was the blending of cultures and races that was so foreign for the time. For Alexander’s two “blood brothers” to be a freed African slave and a half Scot, half Iroquois Native American speaks volumes for the character's morality and compassion at a time when Negro Americans and Native Americans were treated at best as second-class citizens and at worst as little more than talking animals. The book is packed full of adventure, battles, and excitement, making it incredibly quick to read and yet, despite this, the author finds time to develop the characters and imbue them with some wonderful characteristics and remind the reader that family, compassion, and love are what truly matter, regardless of the time frame. This is the first book in a series about these characters and I can pay no greater tribute to the author than to say I look forward to Book Two with bated breath. An excellent read and one I can highly recommend.