Book Review – Fire and Dust


Book Review

War is an ugly business. There is conflict from the top to the bottom, between enemies and allies alike, and it is hard to survive the matter. But survival comes in many forms. For some it is enough to live, to see the other end of the war with breath in your lungs. For others it is not enough to live, but to maintain one’s integrity and honor. War breaks men down, brings out their best and worst qualities as time goes on, and in the end it changes everyone it touches.

Fire and Dust is the second book of The Fire Trilogy by Christopher Datta, and it focuses in on members of the Confederate Army at the Battle of Chickamauga and the Siege of Chattanooga. The infighting amongst the generals and the hardships of the soldiers and their families are described in exquisite detail as the author tells his story. This is not a simple story of soldiers and generals, it is the telling of a turning point in the war and it brings to life the people involved, whether they were on the front lines or maintaining a home far from the action.

THE GOOD

The characters in this book are the driving force and the author does an excellent job making even the minor characters stand out as individuals. The accents feel genuine and the dialog straight out of the time period. It is easy to forget in reading this book that the events occurred one-hundred and fifty years ago, not yesterday. The various locations are wonderfully described and when the fighting happens the words pull you along at the breakneck pace of combat.  It is hard to find better writing than this.

THE BAD

It is hard to find fault with this novel on any level, so I won’t bother trying. This book is the real deal.

THE TAKEAWAY

As someone who thoroughly enjoys the American Civil War, I found this book thoroughly enjoyable and found myself reaching into my collection of books to check on some of the events presented, and I was never left wanting. The writing is superb and the storytelling is amazing. This is a story that has its hard moments and I found myself talking out loud while reading. The story is tragic and beautiful, and I would not hesitate a moment to recommend this book to anyone.

 

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