Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Review: Fiddler's Green by A.S. Peterson

Fiddler's Green by A.S. Peterson
Genre: Historical Fiction
Pages: 323
Publication Date: December 2010
Publisher: Rabbit Room Press
Source: I received a free review copy and giveaway copy from the author. Thank you Mr. Peterson!
Rating: 5 of 5 stars!

Book description (from the publisher):
A Secret Mission. A Faraway Sea. A Long-awaited Homecoming.
From the backwaters of Georgia to the taverns of Philadelphia, Fin Button is the talk of the colonies. The British say she's a pirate. The Americans call her a mutineer. The crew of the Rattlesnake call her the most unlikely thing of all: Captain.
But with the Revolution on the verge of defeat, the Congress offers Fin a deal. If she can free a noblewoman held captive by pirates, the French may be persuaded to join the war. Fin's reward? A full pardon. Along with Jack, Topper, and the mysterious Armand Defain, Fin sails the Rattlesnake to the Mediterranean Sea, half a world away. Their destination is Tripoli—home of the savage corsairs and slavers of the Barbary Coast.
To win the prize, Fin will need the help of an ancient seafaring order, the Knights of Malta—and the resolve of one faithful knight could alter more than just the outcome of the Revolution. It could mend the heart of a lonely girl and give rise to an American legend.
♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦

Last October, I raved about the first book of the Fin's Revolution duet, The Fiddler's Gun (read my review here). My review was filled with words like WOW, strong heroine, pirates, emotional, thrilling, and "waiting oh-so-anxiously for the next book." I really liked the first book, and have been looking forward to reading the conclusion of Fin Button's story.

I was definitely not disappointed by Fiddler's Green. It had all of the action and adventure that I expected, but it went even further by taking Fin to places that I had not anticipated. I'm not even sure what I was expecting, but this went above and beyond my expectations. I loved that I did not see what was coming and that each page turned was a surprise. 

The prose in Fiddler's Green was beautiful and, in some places, almost poetic. There was some beautiful phrasing in The Fiddler's Gun, too, but for some reason it was more memorable in this installment. Here's a little taste:
The sound of her mother's name washed over Fin, it rang in her ears like a musical note. Silently, she formed the name on her lips as if she might taste it. The knowledge of the name itself suggested a form to her, a face, a color, a scent. She could never know what her mother looked like, but the name painted a picture in her mind that she could believe in. (77)
I felt like Fin really came into her own and discovered herself in this book, especially after she learned more about the family that abandoned her, stepped up and became a leader when she was needed, and made difficult and necessary decisions for the good of the people she cared about. If she tended to be selfish in the first book, I think her selflessness shone through much brighter in this adventure.

Fin's comrades were not as involved in parts of this story (she becomes separated from them at one point) and that bummed me out at first. They are such great characters, and I was glad when they re-appeared in the story. I particularly liked the ending because we finally got a peek at what happened back home while Fin was on her secret mission to the Barbary Coast, and even though what Fin finds back home is sad, I think it also results in a more logical outcome than what she thought she wanted all along. I don't want to go into more detail than that (I already feel like I'm toeing the spoiler line as it is), but yeah, the ending worked for me.

Fiddler's Green was a fantastic ending for Fin's Revolution, and I am so glad I got to read it. My fertile imagination would love to see Mr. Peterson write a companion book about the events back home in Ebenezer during Fin's time at sea, but perhaps I should just re-read the two books a few more times so I can connect the dots myself? I highly recommend this two-book series to anyone who likes adventure, pirates, strong female characters, and beautiful prose. I also recommend that you read this series in order--the books do not stand alone.

Related linkage:
Reading Challenges: Historical Fiction, 2nds Challenge, Twenty Eleven Challenge (Mind the Gap)

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