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The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation, Vol. 2: The Kingdom on the Waves Hardcover – October 14, 2008
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Top Customer Reviews
This follow-up begins with the two fugitives running to British-occupied Boston, where Octavian finds work in an orchestra entertaining British officers. It is not long before Boston comes under attack from the colonial rebels. When Octavian hears that Lord Dunmore is raising a troop of African soldiers, he enlists with the British on the promise that he will earn his freedom by fighting for the Crown.
Instead, Octavian learns that serving as a soldier is another kind of bondage, especially for the dark-skinned Royal Ethiopian Regiment. Consisting primarily of escaped slaves, the promise of freedom wanes as the fortunes of war turn against the British. THE KINGDOM ON THE WAVES features the Revolutionary War as readers have rarely encountered it. It is a tale of desperate yearning for freedom among those who will be returned to slavery should the colonial rebels attain their goal of independence.
The Royal Ethiopian Regiment is the first experience Octavian has spending time with a large group of his fellow slaves.Read more ›
For those of you who immersed yourself in the world of THE POX PARTY, you must read M. T. Anderson's second volume, THE KINGDOM ON THE WAVES. I would highly recommend you read the two volumes in order.
In volume two, Octavian escapes the cruelty of Mr. Gitney and, with his former tutor, Dr. Trefusis, on his back, flees across the mud-flats to Boston. Once there, they are able to find lodging, trading only upon the name and reputation of the deathly ill Dr. Trefusis. With war closing in on Boston and their hostess in dire need of payment, Octavian once again finds himself with violin in hand, earning a small amount to apply toward their room and board. At this point, I was still cheering for Octavian, the escaped slave, hoping that he finally would find joy, peace and, most of all, freedom; yet at the same time, knowing that there must be more challenges ahead.
As the Revolutionary War advances, Octavian hears that the Royalists are promising freedom to all slaves who fight for the King of England. He joins and dons his uniform, a shirt inscribed with the words "Liberty to Slaves." We are immediately immersed in the struggle to prepare an ill-equipped regiment for war. He becomes a member of Lord Dunmore's Ethiopian Regiment. Here, for the first time, he is surrounded by other slaves who speak other languages. They tell glorious tales of their homes in Africa and sing rousing songs that make his heart pound. They see him as different, a white man in a black body, and brand him with the name Buckra.
Octavian marches into his first battle behind other regiments, amazed that those first to confront the Rebels are little more than a sacrifice. He does not understand the logic behind this type of fighting.Read more ›
Continuing the story of Octavian Nothing, following his escape from The Novanglian College of Lucidity, the book begins as he, along with his tutor Dr. Trefusis, seeks safety in Boston. With the city under siege, Octavian decides to cast his lot with the British who promise freedom to rebel-owned slaves joining the King's forces. However, as the Revolutionary War progresses, Octavian begins to realize that his sheltered upbringing is of little use in the midst of the struggle. Although a slave and the subject of the Novanglian College of Lucidity's experimentation, he was raised as an educated dilettante. Thus, Octavian possesses few practical skills and grows to appreciate the clever, sometimes cunning, talents that his fellow soldiers exhibit. It is during this maturing process that he begins to recognize the British promise of freedom is illusory and that he has traded one type of enslavement for another.
The novel is written as a combination of first person narrative interspersed with Octavian's journal entries; these present his view of the Revolutionary War and its import to the slaves who have chosen to side with the British. Additionally, there are excerpts from broadsides and correspondence written between British officers and between colonists which present differing perspectives on the war. M. T. Anderson's writing is complex and intelligent.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A very good read...If you read volume I you must read volume 2...I feel as though I have learned so much more than I knew about slavery and the recompenses of being in bondage. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Sean Patrick
Masterpiece. This is a painful story to read, but it's a masterpiece!Published 6 months ago by Rosario Girl
Wonderful book. A perspective on our history that is not to be missed.Published 6 months ago by piki1
This is an amazing novel. This should be required reading in every high school history class, and an excellent study of superb historical fiction.Published 7 months ago by K.C.Love
A fascinating look at our Revolutionary war from the viewpoint of a slave.Published 23 months ago by James Foley
A subject that few ever knew about . Very well written and researched. It often reads like poetry. Another good book to read on a similar subject is :
Rough Crossings: The... Read more
Part 2 of 2, this book Complete's Octavian's truly astonishing journey through the American Revolution. Read morePublished on June 3, 2014 by Devon M. Roberson
One of the most powerful books I have ever read. Reminiscent of The Known World, with a message that must be told and retold.Published on April 17, 2014 by Sara R.