It’s been a long time since I’ve read one of those fiction books that makes you stay up past your bedtime reading. The Fiddler’s Gun is one of those books. The novel is set during the American Revolution, and it involves, among many other things, orphans, pirates, Redcoats, fiddles, and buried treasure. Sounds like a good story right out of the gate, if you ask me!
I’ve always loved stories about sailors and pirates, but as I’ve grown up, those aren’t necessarily books I gravitate towards anymore. During the third grade I think I read Carry On, Mr. Bowditch about a hundred times, and I had several books about girls dressing up as boys to go to sea. This book fits in that genre, but in a much more sophisticated way. As I was reading, it was difficult to determine if the intended audience of this book was adults or young adults. I think it would be fine for either, but there is a lot of violence–it is a war/pirate story, after all.
All of that swashbuckling and sword fighting doesn’t take away from the actual prose, though. There is a lot of action, but the descriptions and phrasing are beautiful. I loved this quote:
For that singular second, the men aboard both vessels peered across the gulf at one another, rigid with fear and frozen by memories of home, and of women loved and children born, and of all others they might never see again. And in response they called out of the dark reaches of man’s collective nightmare that beast that stirs and quickens to violence, that savors the taste of the enemy’s throat, the bloodthirst that blinds reason and makes of men a berzerking force of rage with curled lips and bared animal teeth.
–The Fiddler’s Gun, p. 226
Such great imagery and description! This book was one I received from my Rabbit Room secret Santa, and the author, A.S. Peterson, is the managing editor of the Rabbit Room and the Rabbit Room Press.
If you are a sailor at heart, or if you know someone who loves adventure and American history, this is a great book. There is also a sequel, The Fiddler’s Green, which I plan on devouring as quickly as possible.