Monday, December 14, 2009

Review of Dawn's Early Light

Dawn’s Early Light is the third book in L.C. Lewis’ historical fiction series, Free Men and Dreamers. It is set in 1814 when America is fighting for its life against superior British forces. The book is a superlative example of excellent research and good storytelling; weaving the story of a fledgling country with the lives of backwoods’ patriots, Freedmen and slaves, and men in the British parliament standing on both sides of the “American” issue.

Ms. Lewis has a deft hand in bringing to life the dry events of history. I appreciated her even handedness in offering both sides of an issue for the reader to ponder. She did this masterfully by involving us in the lives of the characters, thereby allowing us to wrestle with the conundrums through their experiences.

It was also intriguing how the author flecked the story with aspects of the life of the Prophet Joseph Smith’s family. Though Joseph was only nine years old at the time of these occurrences, he and his family would surely have been caught up in the events shaping the groundwork of America—the bedrock upon which the gospel would come forth. I would like to have seen more of this aspect woven throughout.

On occasion the book could have used a bit of competent editing. Some scenes were ponderous and slowed the pace of the story. This was especially true at the end of the book with the story of the fallen British soldier and the capture of Dr. Beanes. The ending also became a bit muddled, as we were given several disparate scenes in rapid succession. There is a set up for a sequel, and I believe these final stories were in preparation for that event.

Overall, Dawn’s Early Light is a fascinating look into an important era of American history, and Ms. Lewis handles the subject matter with skill and talent.

1 comment:

  1. L.C. Lewis' passion for this subject is so evident in her storytelling. I appreciated her insight into history and i enjoyed her characters immensely.
    Great review!