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Shadow Patriots: A Novel of the Revolution Mass Market Paperback – Bargain Price, August 1, 2006


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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Historical fiction as it ought to be written and seldom is."--Palm Beach Post on Shadow Patriots

"Few novelists working now have a better grasp of early American history than Robson."--Kirkus Reviews on Shadow Patriots

"Robson proves herself a dedicated historian and strong storyteller. The only thing I disliked about the book was that it had to end."--The Tampa Tribune on Shadow Patriots

"Historical fiction of the best kind… This masterfully drawn, historical backdrop moves a great and moving love story."--The Roanoke Times on Shadow Patriots

"There are so many ways to love this book: for its rollicking view of the American revolution, for the intrigue of spies in petticoats, for the lure of the period, or for Robson's spicy humor. Shadow Patriots is historical fiction that lets you smell the corn cakes in the oven as the muskets are loaded."--Marlin Fitzwater, Press Secretary to Presidents Reagan and Bush and bestselling author of Call the Briefing and Esther's Pillow

"Shadow Patriots takes the reader into a little explored side of the American Revolution: how women felt about it and what they did as the war tore their lives apart. Lucia S. Clair-Robson has written a superb book that may break up your heart in places but will give you a new understanding of the struggle that created out nation."--Thomas Fleming, bestselling author of Dreams of Glory

"When an outstanding storyteller is also a careful and thorough researcher of history, the result is historical fiction of a high order. Robson has thoroughly immersed herself in Revolutionary America in order to present us with a picture as vivid as today's news. Filled with fascinating detail, the book offers a panoramic picture of America on the brink of freedom. The military and the personal are skillfully interlaced. Familiar characters such as George Washington and Benedict Arnold reveal new facets, while the assortment of fictional characters Robson has created carry the story forward at a breathtaking pace."--Morgan Llywelyn on Shadow Patriots

"If you like American history, you'll love Shadow Patriots, a gritty, yet tender story of everyday people caught up in extraordinary times. "--Beatrice Small, bestselling author of Philippa

"With meticulous historical research and vivid, fascinating characters, this book is a feast for anyone who loves history."--A. C. Crispin, bestselling author of Storms of Destiny on Shadow Patriots

"Ms. Robson's research and earthy writing combine to put the reader at the center of 18th century scenes--pungent, raucous, and vivid; with her usual genius she reveals one of the most important but little-known aspects of the American Revolution."--James Alexander Thom, bestselling author of Sign Talker on Shadow Patriots





About the Author

Lucia St. Clair Robson was born in Baltimore, Maryland and raised in South Florida. She has been a Peace Corps volunteer in Venezuela and a teacher in Brooklyn, New York. She has also lived in Japan, South Carolina and southern Arizona. After earning her master's degree in Library Science at Florida State University, she worked as a public librarian in Annapolis, Maryland. She lives near Annapolis in a wooded community on the Severn River. The Western Writers of America awarded her first book, Ride the Wind, the Golden Spur for best historical western of 1982 and it also made the New York Times Best Seller List.
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Forge Books (August 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765344629
  • ASIN: B00BQ9U676
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #432,167 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Along with my library degree I learned one of life's great truths: you don't have to know all the answers, you just have to know where to find them. As a public librarian in Maryland I gave book-related programs in the local schools. While gathering material for the talks, I ran across the story of Cynthia Ann Parker's life with the Comanches. I told the kids that this was a more fascinating story than anyone could make up.

Shortly after that I went to a science fiction convention and met Brian Daley, author of the Han Solo books. I mentioned Cynthia Ann's story to Brian and his editor who referred me to Pamela Strickler of Ballantine Books. She advised me to, "Write the best story you can, from the heart, to please yourself." In 1982, Ballantine published Ride the Wind, which made the New York Times best sellers list. It also won the Western Writers of America's Spur Award for Best Historical Novel of the year. Now in its 27th printing, WIND was included in the top 100 westerns of the 20th century, and has garnered more than 100 5-star reviews in Amazon.

I've written eight other historical novels that feature people and times seldom mentioned in history texts. I got a kick out of Kirkus Reviews' take on my characters, "...Robson's phosphorescently magnificent gallery of forgotten women whom she's dug up God knows where."

In order of their appearance, the titles are: RIDE THE WIND, WALK IN MY SOUL, LIGHT A DISTANT FIRE, TOKAIDO ROAD, MARY'S LAND, FEARLESS, GHOST WARRIOR, SHADOW PATRIOTS, and LAST TRAIN FROM CUERNAVACA. In June of 2011 Western Writers of America awarded LAST TRAIN FROM CUERNAVACA their Spur award for best long novel of 2010.

A historical novelist must do more than list which generals fought where and when. She tries to re-create the society in which people lived, and she has to make it so vivid that readers can feel as though they're living there too.

I no longer collect a paycheck as a librarian, but my library training helps me find out what people wore, what jokes they told, how they insulted each other, what they ate, how they amused themselves, what diseases laid them low and how they tried to cure them.

As a writer of historical fiction, it's my job to create a plausible reality in a time long gone. A descendant of one of my characters once asked me where I got the stories I told in my book about her family. I told her I had either read them or made them up. She said I couldn't have because those were stories only the family knew. I blamed it on coincidence, but sometimes I do believe that novelists can "predict" the past.

I worry about being mis-marketed as a romance writer. I wonder if those who want happily-ever-after stories will be put off by the grit and gore in mine. I fear that readers who're looking for historical fiction won't pick the books up. Love is a vital part of every period of history and I always include it in my stories. However, it is not the focus.

When I became a librarian in 1975 I could not have imagined I would write even one npovel, much less nine. The internet did not exist then, so I could not have known that one day people from all over the world would get in touch with me. My job is to re-create how other people lived, and yet I could not have imagined the way my own life would unfold. I find it hard to believe that the three following quotes are about my words.

Historian and novelist thomas Fleming wrote about Last Train from Cuernavaca: "A gripping story that takes us deep into the tumultuous years of Mexican history. We need more books like this."

"Shadow Patriots, a Novel of the Revolution" -- From Kirkus Reviews "Few novelists working now have a better grasp of early American history than Robson ...Wholly believable, confidently realized, attention-holding historical fiction."

In 2011 True West Magazine named me Best Living Fiction Writer- "With her greatest achievement to date, 2010's Last Train from Cuernavaca... Lucia St. Clair Robson once again proves a master in prose, descriuption, character development and authenticity via her diligent research. Look for more from this powerful writer."





Customer Reviews

This story totally captivated the reader and I can honestly say that I had a hard time putting the book down.
Kristi Ahlers
Ms. Robson's characters are always fully formed and believable, her descriptions and situations historically accurate, and her stories compelling.
A reader in Texas
I have read several history books about this time period, but I would have liked to read a nice fictional story centered on the time frame.
CoffeeGurl

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Kristi Ahlers on May 5, 2005
Format: Hardcover
One word comes to mind when I think back over this read and that is VIVID!! Ms. St. Clair Robson has vividly brought to life the time period of the American Revolution as well as the real-life figures that played key roles during this conflict.

This is the story of the mysterious lady spy known as 355. Not much is known about this courageous lady but the author has penned a story that seems all too possible and real. As a result fans of historical fiction will find themselves transported back in time to when our fledgling country was taking a stand and traitors to this cause. A young woman by the name of Kate works hard to keep the Continental Army safe by passing information. The reader will become totally invested with her character and as a result step back in time with her. She finds not only friends but love on her journey but when her activity is found out what will happen to her? Will she be hung as a spy and will she ever see Rob her love again?

This story totally captivated the reader and I can honestly say that I had a hard time putting the book down. I cheered and cried, throughout this whole story. I highly recommend this read if you are a fan of well-done historic fiction. Trust me you won't be let down.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A reader in Texas on May 18, 2005
Format: Hardcover
The American Revolution is one of my special interests. I have probably read a thousand books over the past fifty years, both fiction and nonfiction, about it. This novel is the equal of Kenneth Roberts' great work Oliver Wiswell--another spy story now that I think of it. I expected it to be good, Ms. Robson's previous books are all special, but I did not expect anyone to ever approach the great Kenneth Roberts' heights.

Ms. Robson's characters are always fully formed and believable, her descriptions and situations historically accurate, and her stories compelling. I did not think she could ever top Sarah Bowman in Fearless, but she has. And I did not see one line in this book which was historically inaccurate. A true, thrilling, treasure!
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Billy Ray Chitwood on June 5, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Shadow Patriots is another one of Lucia St. Clair Robson's treasures that you can't put down until you've finished it - then you hate yourself for reading it so quickly as you wanted it to last - and last - and last. Lucia has a wonderful way of making the cardboard figures of history come alive and show you the way it actually was in those days.

She tapped into a little known area of the Revolutionary War and not only brought the everyday people to life but she also has the talent and ability to make our well known figures human. She places them in their time and world - taking them out of the dry stuff of history lessons.

As usual, now I can hardly wait for her next book.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Blue water sailor on July 4, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Reading this novel actually transports you back in time to the Revolution. You experience-live-the story along with the characters, see the sights, hear the sounds, smell the smells, and experience the fear and exhaltation. You literally become part of the story and the era.

Kate Darby is a Quaker in a well-to-do home in Philadelphia. Though most Quakers remain neutral (those who do not are "read out" of the Society), Kate by slow turns becomes a patriot, and finally a spy for George Washington. Historically we know Washington had a woman spy in New York known to history only as #355; this is her story.

But it is also much more. Did you know, for instance, that one of Washington's most important decisions was to vaccinate his army against smallpox? Who even knew they had vaccinations back then? They did, and it's in the book. The struggles in Valley Forge, and the much worse winter of 1779-1780, the British problems while occupying New York City, Washington's constant deception of the British with disinformation and his struggle to obtain reliable information about them and their plans, the continual peril of innocent civilians just trying to survive between the two forces, all are part of this great story. Take out the fictional characters and this would be an outstanding history book.

Robson also gives some much needed insight into what led the most successful American general, Benedict Arnold, to turn traitor.

As a novel, a true page-turner, it will keep you up till you finish. As a history, an excellent history of the time and the struggles of the Revolution. As an experience, time travel!
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By W. E. MARKLEY on July 9, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Once again Lucia Robson has brought history alive with Shadow Patriots. Having been born near Valley Forge and being immersed in the Revolution since I was a kid, Shadow Patriots brings back the adventure and excitement that the American Revolution was. Not only is it a great spy novel with plenty of twists and turns, but Lucia Robson brings the characters alive so you cheer them on and want them to succeed. The book brings out the torn feelings of loyalty to family and friends; but also to country and honor. Once again Lucia Robson has developed characters and a plot where you won't want to put the book down, but at the same time you won't want it to end.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Scott Schiefelbein VINE VOICE on October 18, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Lucia St. Clair Robson is a writer who focuses on re-telling popular, male-dominated stories from a woman's perspective. Not that she gives short shrift to her male characters, who can be dynamic, fully-realized individuals, but her stories have heroines where we are used to reading about heroes. I first came to Ms. Robson through her novel, "The Tokaido Road," where she tells the famed Forty-Seven Ronin story from the perspective of the gorgeous courtesan-warrior, Cat. I have read many novels of feudal Japan, but only "Shogun" is better at transporting you to that exotic, distant island.

With "Shadow Patriots," Ms. Robson takes on perhaps the most male-dominated story of our American Heritage - the American Revolution. For all the debts that we owe the Founding Fathers, Ms. Robson reminds us that women just so happened to be involved in our struggle for independency, too.

"Shadow Patriots" is Robson's conjuration of a story out of a historical footnote. There is evidence that the British hung an American woman who spied on them under the code name "355." Thanks to exhausting research and a full command of the period, Robson creates Kate Darby, a modest, beautiful Quaker girl who gets caught up in the Revolution against her will. As a Quaker, Kate believes in non-violence, honesty, and placing God above either British or American loyalties. But the brutal brother-against-brother conflict of the war burns down the fence Kate is sitting on, and she must choose sides.

Kate is not alone in her struggle. Her brother, Seth, and her love, Robert Townshend, must also choose sides and struggle with those choices as well as the fact that they have each fallen in love with enchanting women at impossible times.
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