Friday, April 12, 2013

Book Review - Drums of War Series


Independence: Drums of War, Volume 1

By: Peter Reese Doyle
Publisher: Powder Springs Press
ISBN: 978-1-938437-00-7
Copyright, 2012
Reviewed by: Mary Lignor
Review date: April 10, 2013

This fascinating series (Drums of War) is a great find of historical novels for young people. These books contain wonderful stories about the beginning of the Revolutionary War and are written for the reader in a fiction based non-fiction account. In book number one, Independence, on April 21, 1775, in Williamsburg, VA, the British Army is on the way to steal all the colonial gunpowder stored in the local powder magazine. This will be the beginning of the War talk among the British and the Colonists.

In these books we meet two families that live next to each other. The patriarchs of the families are in the shipping business together. The Hendricks family and the Edwards family struggle to keep their business alive as they try to get past British ships in the harbors and British spies on land. The young men of the two families, Andrew Hendricks and Nathan Edwards are asked by their fathers to go on horseback and deliver messages to the Sons of Liberty. Nearer to the home front, the two young ladies of the families, Rachel Hendricks and Sarah Edwards, are also very adventurous and have a hand in saving Patrick Henry from being captured as he is about to lead the patriots against the British Governor.


Bunker Hill: Drums of War, Volume 2

By: Peter Reese Doyle
Publisher: Powder Springs Press
ISBN: 978-1-937437-01-4
Reviewed by: Mary Lignor
Review date: April 10, 2013

On to Book Two, Bunker Hill, Paul Revere has gone on his famous midnight ride to warn Middlesex County, Massachusetts that “the British are coming.” First thing in the morning the first shots of the American Revolution were fired in Lexington. That was also in April of ’75. In this second book, Andrew and Nathan are pulled in to help deliver a load of goods from their fathers’ business to New York. Being the good patriots that they are, the boys are helping to take gunpowder to the patriots in Cambridge, MA. They go on to do their thing of carrying messages back and forth to the Colonial Generals and their men. Meanwhile, the British ships in Boston harbor start to attack Bunker and Breed’s Hills. The boys are dodging cannon fire going back and forth behind the lines.

The author really knows his subject as the reader will sit and read this book until the end non-stop even though most Americans know the story by heart. This was the first stand-up and fight battle of the Revolution and it seemed that the War for Independence had begun. The New Englanders really knew their stuff as they drove the British back three times before they finally ran out of ammunition and had to retreat.

Meanwhile, back home in Williamsburg the two girls had discovered that one of the students in their music class was a British spy, so they are also holding up their end of the family business. Also, in this installment, the Clouds of War are gathering and the delegates of the Continental Congress have just appointed Colonel (soon to be General) George Washington to lead the Continental Army. Washington, at this time, has vowed to drive the British out of Boston.


A Captive in Williamsburg: Guns of War, Volume 3

By: Peter Reese Doyle
Publisher: Powder Springs Press
ISBN: 978-1-938437-02-1
Reviewed by: Mary Lignor
Review date: April 10, 2013

Included in Book Three, A Captive in Williamsburg, General Washington has just expressed his wishes to get the British out of Boston and is sending militiamen up to Massachusetts along with supplies. The state of Virginia is facing a bit of trouble from the British as well, in the form of the Governor who is planning to invade Virginia’s soil with his Army of Redcoats.

Lord Dunmore, said Governor, has set up base in Norfolk, VA on a ship in the harbor. He is planning to ask England for a large fleet of ships with which to invade Virginia’s coastal towns. Andrew Hendricks is back in Williamsburg and is getting ready to ride to Norfolk with a very important letter to the 2nd Regiment that will help them to win an upcoming battle with the British at a place called Great Bridge. He is thwarted on the way by British spies and is able to avoid them in order to reach the Regiment and give the commander his message. This turns out to be another rout for the Colonists who really know how to fight with their wits and don’t have to wear Red Coats and march in a straight line.

And, back in Williamsburg, Sarah is in trouble and about to be kidnapped by British spies and delivered to the Governor’s ship as a prisoner of war.


Charleston: Drums of War, Volume 4

By: Peter Reese Doyle
Publisher: Powder Springs Press
ISBN: 978-1-938437-03-8
Reviewed by: Mary Lignor
Review date: April 10, 2013

In the fourth installment of the Drums of War series, Andrew Hendricks returns to help the Patriots by being a messenger, carrying battle plans back and forth to the Army’s various headquarters. After Andrew’s experiences at Bunker and Breed’s Hill and the battle at the Great Bridge in Norfolk, VA, he is about to have another adventure in Charleston, SC, when he appears at the Battle of Sullivan’s Island.

At the start of Charleston, Andrew and a friend of his hear of a plot in their hometown of Williamsburg, VA. After bringing the information to his father and some Army officers, Andrew is asked to act, again, as a messenger to take a very important message to Charleston. The plot that he overheard was that the British Army was coming by sea to begin an invasion of the Southern colonies, beginning at the port of Charleston and no one knows they’re coming. Andrew and his friend, Matthew Anderson, have to get the message to Governor Rutledge and his Army before the British ships arrive. Admiral Peter Parker and General Henry Clinton of the British Military plan to take the small fort on Sullivan’s Island in Charleston harbor and overrun the city.

Once again the reader can ride alongside Andrew Hendricks as he battles the sea, land, British soldiers and the politics of the very important year in the life of the colonies, 1776, to defend the coast of America.

Quill says: These books are a rare find and tell the story of the beginning of the American Revolution in the author’s fascinating storytelling. Life in Colonial America in the 1700’s leading up to the Continental Congress and the appointment of General George Washington to take the Americans to victory are written in great detail and would be a perfect teaching tool for young people.