Gosh, it feels like forever since I wrote up one of these. Crucible of War is the fourth book in J. M. Hochstetler's American Patriot Series. I have only read the third book in this series, and it was back in 2009. This book is currently available for only $2.99 for Kindle, so I picked up the electronic version to complement the paperback versions of the first three books I own.
When she returns to New York, Elizabeth Howard is drawn ever deeper into the intrigues that swirl around British General William Howe. She and her Aunt Tess, move to Philadelphia in summer 1777 to gather intelligence while waiting for a rumored British attack. Ambushed and almost captured as the Americans dig in at Brandywine Creek, Carleton is transferred to General Horatio Gates’s army in the upper Hudson Valley where his old nemesis, British General John Burgoyne, closes in on Saratoga. With decisive battles looming on both fronts, Elizabeth and Carleton face a crucible of war that tests their mettle, faith, and love to the very limits—and beyond.
COVER: Stunning. This is a cover that truly captures what this book is all about. I love the green background too.
FIRST CHAPTER: Brigadier General Jonathan Carleton and other members of General Washington's army are making a dangerous trek across the Delaware on Christmas night in 1776. In addition to the horrible storm, problems such as the fast approaching expiration of many enlistments and a number of men complaining about serving with colored troops and Indians, make it even more important for Washington's army to strike now.
Meanwhile, Elizabeth Howard and her Aunt Tess are guests of the Wainwrights. Neither group entirely certain of the other's allegiance, they carefully discuss the current happenings, while the extreme curiosity of one of their servants catches Elizabeth's eye.
KEEP READING: Yes. I've admired Hochstetler's storytelling ability since I began reading her work. Her attention to detail makes Crucible of War come alive for readers. Tensions are at their highest and the author portrays this nicely. Her characters are well-developed and engaging. I do feel, however, if one was not familiar with the series and its characters, this would be a difficult book to read as a stand alone. There is so much going on in the first chapter and some back story--both historical and fictional--that numerous characters interact with each other. It might be frustrating for someone new to the series to not know how all the dots connected. To help along, though, the author has included a brief synopsis of the three other books in the series before diving into this one.
I purchased a Kindle version of this book. I received no monetary compensation for this first chapter review.