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Road to the Breaking Paperback – January 1, 2021
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Nothing survived “The Breaking” unchanged; lives and fortunes, love and hate, freedom and slavery …
It’s early 1860, and war hero Captain Nathaniel Chambers, commander U.S. Army Fort Davis in the west Texas wilderness, has received shocking news – his father is dead. He must return home to Virginia and claim his inheritance before a maniacal neighbor can murder his widowed mother and seize the family plantation.
But he’s torn by a terrible dilemma – to stay in the army and turn his back on his fortune, his mother and his beloved childhood home, or become the thing he despises; a slave master! Is there no other choice?
An epic journey across a young nation seething with debauchery, brutality, corruption, and political intrigue, unwittingly on the brink of an unimaginable disaster; the American Civil War. Nathan Chambers has left the violent army life behind in Texas, never imaging he’s on the very Road to The Breaking.
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- Publisher : CPB Publishing, LLC (January 1, 2021)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 345 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1733107932
- ISBN-13 : 978-1733107938
- Item Weight : 13.9 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.25 x 0.87 x 8 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #704,039 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Book 1 of historical fiction in an anticipated four book series that by way of explanation opens with a quotation by Billy Creek, an Indian Scout, U.S. Army, 8th Infantry:
“It was a time of such suffering and death, it caused the breaking of all the old ways. Some for the good, and some for the worse. Nothing came through ‘The Breaking’ unchanged, and all that once was, even to the greenness of the earth, was broken during that time, and was never again the same.”
The story opens in March 15, 1860 – South of Fort Davis, Texas. As Captain Nathaniel Chambers leads his troop attempting to find a notorious outlaw. They do and Chambers, angered by the outlaw’s action, viciously reacts. The reaction is understandable and not inappropriate, but distasteful to him as he is concerned with this personal lack of self-control of anger that he has been struggling with for many years. And this trait becomes a persistent feature of the story as it evolves. The tale continues as he is almost revered by those under his command as a fearless leader in battle and an intelligent, empathetic officer. Thus, when his father dies unexpectedly and he is forced to leave the army and its, for him, compatible way of life to return to Virginia, a few of his men resign to accompany him. The return is necessitated by his mother’s inability to handle the affairs of running a huge plantation, replete with slaves, another feature with which the Captain is ‘uncomfortable’. Acceptance of his resignation, outfitting for the trip and the distance to be covered will take several weeks at best and his mother already is experiencing tremendous pressure from the inheriting son of the neighboring plantation. A running feud between the two deceased owners is being re-opened by the young man who is taking ruthless and totally unfair advantage of Nathaniel’s mother. This first book sets the stage for the ensuing series.
Discussion: The author has initiated what appears to be the beginning of an enjoyable tale of the pre-civil war and probably some parts of the ensuing conflict. He has approached a difficult job admirably considering all of the elements required in such an endeavor. He has set the stage by including all of them and imbued the story with tension and anticipation for the next volume. Granted, a certain amount of ‘filler’ has been added that slows the tale’s forward thrust, but generally acceptable and pertinent to character development. An intriguing beginning.
A man born to a wealthy slave owning family is at odds with his father to the point that he is sent to a boarding school. He never returns, eventually attending West Point then assuming command of a western fort in Indian country.
When his domineering father dies, the mother he still loves begs him to come home and run the plantation. Part of his problem is that he vehemently abhors slavery. Eventually deciding to put family over the army, he resigns his commission and prepares to return to Virginia.
Several of the men under his command also leave the army and decide to accompany him home. The story follows that trip. It is almost a series of short stories, as we have flash backs to the origin stories of several of the characters.
The narrative jumps around in time and location quite a bit, and I had originally intended to ding a star on that account. But by the end of the book, I realized that I hadn’t had any problem following the story. And I can’t say with any certainty that I wouldn’t have enjoyed the tale less if the author had followed a more linear path.
This is a fantastic book with an interesting set of characters. The author has left himself a dozen fascinating directions for sequels. This is certainly worth a read.