Tuesday, June 7, 2016

A Flight of Arrows by Lori Benton

Title: A Flight of Arrows
Author: Lori Benton
Genre: Historical Fiction

Hearts are Divided 
Loyalties Will Be Tested
The Fates of Two Families Hang in the Balance
Twenty years past, in 1757, a young Redcoat, Reginald Aubrey stole a newborn boy—the lighter-skinned of Oneida twins— during the devastating fall of Fort William Henry and raised him as his own. 
No one connected to Reginald escaped unscathed from this crime. Not his adopted daughter Anna. Not Stone Thrower, the Native American father determined to get his son back. Not Two Hawks, William’s twin brother separated since birth, living in the shadow of his absence and hoping to build a future with Anna. Nor Lydia, who longs for Reginald to be free from his self-imposed emotional prison and embrace God’s forgiveness— and her love. 
Now William, whose identity has been shattered after discovering the truth of his birth, hides in the ranks of an increasingly aggressive British army. The Redcoats prepare to attack frontier New York and the Continentals, aided by Oneida warriors including Two Hawks, rally to defend it. As the Revolutionary War penetrates the Mohawk Valley, two families separated by culture, united by love and faith, must find a way to reclaim the son marching toward them in the ranks of their enemies. 

    The first problem I had reading this book was that the publisher failed to inform me that it was book 2 in the series, a sequel to The Wood's Edge. Not realizing this until I got the book and started reading, it was difficult to understand what was going on because it was a continuation of another story. Not having read the first book, the characters in A Flight of Arrows seemed underdeveloped to me and the plot points were a bit random and unexplained.

    Since the book is set in the Revolutionary War era, it seems that Benton has attempted to recreate the conventions of speech in that day, writing some of the dialogue in a different style. But she doesn't do this for all of the dialogue, just bits and pieces, making it seem choppy and even more difficult to read. Sentences also seem over-complicated grammatically.

    Another more personal reason that I did not enjoy this book is the focus on Native Americans. I don't have anything against Natives or their stories, but I recently had a bad experience with Native American Literature.

    Despite this being a Christian book, there were quite a few references to sex, with Anna trying to get Two Hawks to stay in a cave with her for the night and kissing him passionately many times. I was not comfortable with this content.

    In a review, best-selling author Lauraine Snelling says "Lori Benton has written another stellar novel set during the Revolutionary War period. The well-drawn characters leap off the pages and take up residence in the reader's hearts, making history come alive." Despite this glowing review and others like it by many readers on Goodreads, I could not enjoy this book.

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