From School Library Journal
Grade 7-10–In 1498, as John Cabot attempts to beat Columbus to a western route to Asia, his resentful son Sebastian, 15, remains in England awaiting his father and two brothers' return. Alternating chapters chronicle Cabot's second voyage to the New World, related through letters to Sebastian; the teen's riverboat life in Bristol; and the history of Cabot's life prior to this last voyage. Teeming with the intricate interactions of politics and naval power, Garfield's story ties the mystery of the Cabots' final journey to the larger backdrop of the era of exploration. While the author should be applauded for his dedication to historical research, the surfeit of information on 15th-century culture, politics, navigation, and shipping often threatens to drown the plot. The novel requires an investment of a solid 100 pages before the adventure subplot builds sufficient dramatic tension to keep readers' interest. However, the writing is smooth and readable, and for those who enjoy historical fiction with a large dollop of history, this story provides a different perspective on the era. While not an essential purchase, this book is notable for its love of detail and its subtle portrayal of the complexities of Cabot's world.–Caitlin Augusta, The Darien Library, CT
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About the Author
lives in Belfast, Maine, where he keeps a small sailboat for explorations of the coastal waters. He is the author of three mystery-
suspense novels: Moondog, Room 13, and Tartabull's Throw, and writes a regular column for villagesoup.com, an Internet newspaper in Maine. He is the great-great-grandson of President James A. Garfield, the last U.S. president born in a log cabin.