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Touched With Fire (The Fire Trilogy Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

Christopher Datta
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (117 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $15.00
Kindle Price: $2.99
You Save: $12.01 (80%)

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Book Description

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Touched With Fire, a novel of the Civil War inspired by the true story of Ellen Craft.



Ellen Craft is property; in this case, of her half-sister Debra, to whom she was given as a wedding gift. The illegitimate daughter of a Georgia plantation owner and a house slave, she learned to hate her own image, which so closely resembled that of her “father:” the same wiry build, the same blue eyes, and the same pale—indeed, lily-white—skin.
Ellen lives a solitary life until she falls, unexpectedly, in love with a dark-skinned slave named William Craft, and together they devise a plan to run North. Ellie will pose as a gentleman planter bound for Philadelphia accompanied by his “boy” Will. They make it as far as Baltimore when Will is turned back, and Ellie has no choice but continue. With no way of knowing if he is dead or alive, she resolves to make a second journey—South again. And so Elijah Craft enlists with the 125th Ohio Volunteers of the Union Army: she will literally fight her way back to her husband.
Eli/Ellie’s journey is the story of an extraordinary individual and an abiding love, but also of the corrosive effects of slavery, and of a nation at a watershed moment.

“Christopher Datta’s Touched with Fire is in that fine American tradition of the works of Howard Fast and John Jakes. His characters are richly drawn and he has great command of the history to which he has attached his narrative. Also, as Datta’s deliberate and sincere historical fiction wends its way through this abject time in our nation’s youth, he keenly goes about Forest Gumping the reader through a Who’s Who of the Civil War. Touched with Fire is a welcome addition to the ever-increasing canon of Civil War fiction.”

-E. Warren Perry, Jr., author, Swift to My Wounded: Walt Whitman and the Civil War

“I was completely on edge the whole time…a fantastic story that engaged in its action scenes and tempered them with its easy dialog.”
-Sabrina at Romantic Historical Lovers (Four-star review)

"If you have any interest in The Civil War, this is a must have for your book collection; it truly is spectacular."
-Reader review from Barbara270


Product Details

  • File Size: 930 KB
  • Print Length: 398 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Civil War, Slavery, Historical Fiction, Women's Fiction, women soldiers, civil war romance, runaway slaves (June 24, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00DN7Z2PK
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #61,279 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
This is a tremendously amazing story for all of you who are History lovers! Christopher Datta does an outstanding job in bringing the horrible act of slavery and the Civil War to life... too vivid.

Based on the true story of Ellen Craft makes it even more interesting. Read the story to discover how much is accurate...even better, read my Interview with Christopher Datta on [...] and discover much more about this story and the outstanding author.

Ellie was raised a slave by her biological father, who had raped her mother, and her mother was sold to another within a short period of time after Ellen's birth. Ellen was very white skinned with dark hair. The father insisted on keeping her and raising her as his legitimate daughter's companion. However, Ellie was forever reminded she was a slave and refused education or equal treatment. Rejected by the Negros because of her color and fine hand me down clothes, and not allowed to associate with the whites other than a slave to her half sister, Ellie was bitter and determined to not encourage association with either but to remain single and a slave in her father's house until she could perhaps one day become a free person.

Against all her determination, life happens and she is forced to reexamine her attitude and just as she feels resigned and content, life takes another twist and she, once again, has to make a drastic choice... a choice which leads to many other drastic choices and actions.

The many characters are well-defined and feel very real. The various situations and scenes are vividly portrayed. The title becomes clear a couple of times in the story and is one which captures the reader's interest, as does the book cover. It, also, depicts the story's main crux.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Touched with Fire is a great read. July 31, 2013
By silkman
Format:Paperback
I've read a lot of civil war history and fiction, from Bruce Catton and MacKinlay Kantor to James McPherson and Michael Shaara, and this book holds its own. Datta is a terrific story teller, and he's got a great story to tell. He gives you an excellent sense of time and place. Highly recommended.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Touched With Fire is one of the reasons historical fiction is gaining in popularity as a genre. The meticulous research and authenticity of facts as related to the battles, sites, and multi-faceted tensions was evident. Not only were the tensions between slave owners and slaves explored, but also between families, friends, and all members of the society who were caught up in the escalations that led to our Nation's Civil War. Christopher Datta did an outstanding job of keeping the love story and personal struggles of the main character alive as he imbedded them into a depiction of what life was like for a woman during that period in history. The story tells of how a brave and resilient black woman went to great lengths to gain not only her freedom, but that of the man she loved. It also brings to light one of the many ways in which women actually played a role in the battles of the Civil War in what was a dark time in the history of our United States.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Datta Makes History Come Alive! March 15, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
Ellen Craft was a real person. A slave, the daughter of her owner, she was given to her half-sister as a wedding present. After she married a fellow slave, William Craft, the two of them cooked up a plan to escape to freedom. Christopher Datta, in his first novel, offers a fictionalized version of Craft’s life in Touched With Fire.
Datta’s account, though fiction, is based in large part on the true story of this couple and their intense desire, not only for freedom, but for the chance to live their lives as they see fit. A compelling story, it takes the reader into the emotions of a tortured period in American history in ways that a mere recitation of facts could never accomplish. Datta gets into the minds and hearts of his characters, through credible dialogue and detailed descriptions that make the history come alive. Not only do you come away from this book with a better understanding of the corrosive effects of slavery on society and people, but an appreciation of the power of love and faith.
But, Datta doesn’t stop there. The middle part of the book, an account of Ellen Craft’s adventure masquerading as a man and enlisting in the Union Army, contains battle scenes that not only portray the details of war in rich color, but gets into the minds of those who fought those battles.
If you like historical fiction, this is a book that you must read. If you’re a first-time reader, it is even more important that you read it – to see how history can be made to come alive.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Interesting ! June 15, 2014
By Rubina
Format:Paperback
Read the full review at The Book Club
[...]

I found this story very unusual. It is not only a story of slavery and desperation but also of bravery. To survive in the US Army dressed as a man, and her colleagues never came to know that she was a woman is itself a big feat. There are many nail biting instances in the story. Every moment I thought that now she will be caught – she rose like the Phoenix from the ashes and faced a new challenge with equal boldness. Ellie is not the typical heroine kind of girl – she has many faults too. Judgemental, selfish and to some extent lost only in her own problems. But that is what made her humane. Just like you and me.

The most unusual thing about this story which I found is that Ellie has been addressed not only as a she but also as a he.

From the point when Ellie becomes Eli – the author continuously describes her as a He, just to prove that this is what she trains herself to think.. Maybe, if she herself would have even thought of herself as a female, she would not have been able to survive six years pretending to be a man in the US Army.

I could go on and on in this review regarding Ellie - I am so impressed with her. But, I leave it to you readers to form an opinion about Ellie and find out whether it is justified to immortalize her.

But why the 4 stars? It would have been much better if this story would have just been a fiction and not a suggested biography. Of course, this is my personal opinion and you as a reader might differ.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Inequity & Perseverance
This was a great book. The story of a slave woman living in the time before and during the Civil War. Her story is one of inequity, perseverance, and love. Read more
Published 1 day ago by Wendy Prell
5.0 out of 5 stars well written
Well written, captivating and capture's the women's point of view during that period of time before and during the Civil War. Read more
Published 11 days ago by cleosmom
3.0 out of 5 stars 3.5 stars
Good story, but reading on and on about the Civil War battles was tedious. It was disconcerting to find that while the book was based on actual characters, the story itself was... Read more
Published 1 month ago by BJ
5.0 out of 5 stars History at the personal level
Based on a true story. Memorable characters in a tragic but very important part of our country's history. And a great love story.
Published 1 month ago by Susan
3.0 out of 5 stars I enjoyed the book
I enjoyed the book, but was extremely disappointed to read that it was loosely based on the story of an actual person..And I do mean loosely.. Read more
Published 1 month ago by J. Hamil
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good, BUT
Starts out great and I had no problem with it. But Got a little slow and them got really good again! Read more
Published 1 month ago by Judy
5.0 out of 5 stars Based on Truth
My favorite stories are based on truth and I LOVE this one. Well written and believable, he carefully tells a tale of unspeakable cruelty and the hate it naturally engenders. Read more
Published 2 months ago by B. Corley
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing historical fiction about Ellen Craft - great book for any...
Loved this book. I love historical fictions.

This book, Touched with Fire, is an amazing book about Ellen Craft, a slave who looks white and is able to escape slavery,... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Alexa
5.0 out of 5 stars Touched With Fire by Christopher Datta
This book was very well written and had characters and battles that were researched! The language was a little rough in places but went along with the characters and the history... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Sue
5.0 out of 5 stars read with my son Philip we both enjoyed it
We will miss Eli😄. Sad it to have it end. Highly recommend it to pre and early teen sons
The end
Published 2 months ago by Ann T. Walsh
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