Slaves of Fools

A Story of Love, Lust, Pain & Freedom in the Deep South

Fiction - Historical - Event/Era
207 Pages
Reviewed on 08/27/2019
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Rabia Tanveer for Readers' Favorite

Slaves of Fools is the third book in the Antebellum Struggles series by Dickie Erman. The story follows the life of Colonel Winters, Collette, Amana, and Tabari as they race against time. All four of them have their own trials and their own challenges that they must overcome in time, or else they will have no one to blame but themselves. Every man and woman is out to save themselves and even the slave masters cannot protect themselves. What will happen to these four people and the ones they love and want to protect?

Although I did not read the previous novels in the series, I had zero issues in connecting with the characters and becoming invested in their stories. The suspense was tangible, the characters’ desperation was palpable and the climax had my heart racing. I enjoyed the atmosphere the most; it was intense, impressively maintained and carried through to the very end. Amana had my sympathies while I loved to hate the Colonel. However, try as I might, I couldn’t hate Collette. She was as much a slave as Amana.

Slaves of Fools is a powerful story of slaves who are trying to fight for their rights. But this novel is more than that. Although it is a predominant theme in the novel, the author talks about individuality, self-worth, self-love, and acceptance. Not many authors are able to handle such topics and do them justice. Being a fan of Toni Morrison, I have high expectations of authors who write about slaves, their mistreatment, their lives and how they coped. Mr. Erman did a wonderful job touching on this sensitive topic and ensuring that the reader can feel what is happening to the characters.

Deborah Lloyd

Yellow fever killed thousands of people in New Orleans and the surrounding areas in the mid-nineteenth century. When it struck Colonel Trent Winters’ large sugar cane plantation, life for the owners and the slaves was forever changed. The overseer, Mr. Tolivar, had to make some major decisions, greatly affecting all, but especially the plantation’s mistress, Collette Winters. This novel, Slaves of Fools: A Story of Love, Lust, Pain & Freedom in the Deep South, written by Dickie Erman, depicts the joys and challenges of a wealthy family, its employees and slaves, and friends. The historical features of the story are enlightening and sobering, such as different expectations for men and women, including legal and moral issues; the atrocities of slavery; incurable diseases; the dangers of traveling across land or by river.

This book is the third one in the Antebellum Struggles Series. While this novel can stand alone, a reader is encouraged to read the previous ones, to develop insight into the past experiences and motivations of its main characters. As the subtitle indicates, there are themes of love, lust, pain, and freedom intertwined in the story. The plot is fast-paced and engages the reader from the first page to the last. The author skillfully develops the characters throughout the book, and each one is easy to picture and understand, whether he or she is corrupt or compassionate. Author Dickie Erman has crafted a thought-provoking and entertaining historical novel in Slaves of Fools: A Story of Love, Lust, Pain & Freedom in the Deep South. A captivating read!

Christian Sia

Slaves of Fools is the third book in the Antebellum Struggles series by Dickie Erman and, as the subtitle suggests, it is an engaging story of love, lust, pain, and freedom. In this novel, Dickie Erman recreates the historical era of slavery, the period before the Civil War, and plunges readers into life on a sugar plantation. It features compelling characters like the Colonel who runs a plantation. Readers are introduced to a cast of characters, inducing Trent, Mr. Tolivar, Tabari, Collette, and many others. The drama that takes place is poignant. The theme of slavery is beautifully developed and the reader has a clear idea of what life in the plantation is like, with familiar and symbolic items associated with the sugar cane plantation: the horses, carts, buck wagons, water stations, hoes, picks, and machetes.

There is a lot to enjoy in this novel. First, the setting - both historical and physical - is well-explored and the reader gets a clear idea of what was happening with the abolitionists, the references to the sugar trade with shipments to New Orleans and Nova Scotia. The writing is atmospheric and the author has s gift for capturing details in the narrative without distracting readers from the main plot points. The characters are gorgeously written, each representing a historical world and a culture that readers will want to explore. Themes of slavery, family, business, love, and freedom are deftly handled. I enjoyed particularly the drama in Slaves of Fools, written into exciting dialogues. This is a book that paints the historical moments before the war, evoking the spirit of slavery with vividness and poignancy.