Monday, January 12, 2004

The Arts: Sparrowhawk: Jack Frake

I just finished reading book one of novelist Edward Cline's Sparrowhawk series. Jack Frake is a triumph and I can not reccomend it enough.

The challenge in writing historical fiction lies in capturing both the details of a period and the spirit that inhabits it; to be believed, historical drama demands faithfulness in both set and actors. In Sparrowhawk: Jack Frake, Cline succeeds where countless others have failed. He tells the story of a boy, Jake Frake, who grows up under the weight of a brutal and hopeless society in early 18th century England, and yet aligns himself with unbowed heroes and emerges a young man of valiant and courageous character. In Jack Frake and his compatriots, one sees the genesis of the ideas that will one day compel colonists in America to declare, as inscribed in the marble of the Jefferson Memorial, “eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.” Cline does not treat these ideas as disconnected parlor games; he shows them embodied in men of action and passion. The result is compelling.

Edward Cline has crafted a testament to the unbreakable sprit that makes men great. I eagerly look forward to reading the upcoming installments of the Sparrowhawk series.

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