This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Genres: Historical Romance
Published by The Audio Flow
Released on August 31, 2020
Source: Book Tour Provided
It has been an age since I read or listened to a story set in the Colonial-Revolutionary War period, but it took no persuading at all for me to take up this first in a saga by a new to me author when I saw the promise of a stunning tale in the blurb. Between superb narration work, a tumultuous authentic-feeling plot, and richly drawn characters The Tory continues to resonate inside me well after I finished.
The Tory opens with British officer, John Carlisle, prepared to do what it takes to restore his honor and his officer’s commission that was removed when he was implicated in a situation in the volatile American colonies. In the guise of a war profiteer, he sets up in New York’s Mohawk Valley at a inn run by an Oneida woman, Dellis, who captivates him as her heartwrenching story comes to light and they form a tie that deepens as time goes by. He learns what he needs to know, but that was the easy part. His heart is now engaged and it is pulling him in another direction from his original plan, but he has learned the situation is complex and much bigger than one officer’s restoration or the love of one woman- what he chooses to do will affect nations and war.
The Tory is a story that grabbed me up into its world from the opening chapter and it took hold of my emotions for the whole tempestuous ride. It was graphic at times and didn’t pull any punches about the raw world of the American frontier. The author wrote the larger pictures around John and Dellis’ story with balance and understanding of the times and people. The action, suspense, twists, colorful characters- and some famous ones- carefully built romance, and larger series arc were absolutely fabulous.
John Carlisle was not a character who endeared himself to me at first. It wasn’t just his plan to infiltrate and spy and eventually set up the Oneida tribe, but his immature character. However, over the course of the story, he learned, he showed more facets to himself, and I felt like I was right there with him.
Dellis was half-Scottish half-Oneida. She has lost much and is now stepping out of a traditional role to take care of herself as well as a brother with issues who can’t care for himself. She is intelligent and strong to face what she must. I appreciated her and was engaged with her character from the beginning. I loved when she and John were in scenes together. Their connection and sizzling chemistry leaped to life for me.
As to other characters, wow, even secondary characters whether good or cunningly working their own agendas, were colorful and entertaining.
The plot is full without overflowing into too much. The situation and historical backdrop are rich and full, the action is described in a way that is a sensory experience, and the connection between characters and reader/listener to book is tight.
I must pause here to give warning that there are some gruesome moments in this book. Nothing will prove to one just how much more audio brings to a story than something like this. I think I could have read about a scalping with a small cringe, but listening? It took me a bit to shake that picture loose. So, expect a rough, raw world and not a gentle rosy story, but what is painted out is not gratuitous or simple titillation; it is necessary to the story.
Four sensational narrators had the work of bringing The Tory to audio life. As soon as each took the reins, I saw masterful performances with the characters. I thought they all did due diligence to their characters and captivated my imagination with their audio work.
In summary, I was thoroughly pulled into the Rebels and Redcoats world so that I sat after the cliffhanger ending and could only mourn that I was thrust back into real life. I can’t wait to see what comes next. Historical Fiction lovers and those who don’t mind a more tumultuous historical romance set during a time of action and war and drawn with amazing authenticity should definitely grab this one.
My thanks to Caffeinated PR and The Audio Flow for the opportunity to listen to this book in exchange for an honest review.
New Release #148
Historical Fiction #75
About the Book
His king or his conscience…which will he choose?
It is the winter of 1776, and Captain John Carlisle, one of His Majesty’s not-so-finest, has gone back to the scene of the crime to right a wrong so dark it left a permanent stain on what was once an illustrious career and left a man broken, defeated, in search of justice….
In an effort to win back his commission, he must discover the true nature of the relationship between the Six Nations of the Iroquois and the Colonial Army. Undercover as a war profiteer, John travels to the treacherous Mohawk River Valley and infiltrates local society, making friends with those he’s come to betray. But a chance meeting with a beautiful half Oneida innkeeper, whose tragic history is integrally linked to his own, will provide him with the intelligence he needs to complete his mission – and devastate her people.
Now, as the flames of war threaten to consume the Mohawk Valley, John has the chance to not only serve King and country, but to clear his name. When the truth he uncovers ties his own secrets to those in the highest positions of the British military and threatens the very life of the woman he’s come to love, he will be forced to make a choice….
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