A former officer in the US Navy, Christian Cameron is a novelist and military historian with a lifelong interest in the American Revolution.
This historical novel dramatizes the American Revolution from the dual viewpoints of George Washington and Caesar, Washington's "dogs boy" slave who escapes Mount Vernon to become a soldier in the Loyal Ethiopians, a unit of runaway slaves who fought alongside the British in exchange for manumission. Cameron hits on the oft-ignored and embarrassing fact that America's fight for freedom from the British never prevented even the most fervent patriot from owning slaves. The exploration of this tragic irony, however, undermines Cameron's effort. Not satisfied with establishing the point and moving into the dense military and political machinations of the ordeal itself, Cameron belabors the issue on almost every page. To the author's credit, his portrayal of George Washington, particularly in the early chapters, is compelling. He humanizes the general and presents him as a modest but self-confident gentlemen farmer who acknowledges his limitations as readily as he embraces his duty. Caesar's initial characterization as a victim of the greatest moral injustice in American history is also believable, but Cameron cultivates in him a near savant precociousness that strains credibility. The novel is meticulously accurate in its historical detail (if sometimes repetitive), but the story meanders in an undisciplined way before finally grinding to a tedious and predictable ending. (Jan. 6) FYI: Cameron is the son half of the father-son team that writes the Alan Craik thriller series under the pseudonym Gordon Kent. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
`A novel set against the historical backdrop of the American Revolution needs at its heart a plot strong enough to stand up against the weight of history. And in Washington and Caesar that's exactly what you get. Cameron does full justice to the dramatic potential of his scenario, handling the battle scenes with confidence and investing just the right amount of historical authenticty. The result is a work of considerable profundity.'Yorkshire Evening Post