This adventure is loosely set in the colonies during the French and Indian Wars. It is not exactly alternative history, rather reimagined history that incorporates real people from that time. Young Billy Bartram finally gets to accompany his father on one of his many journeys into the wild to find and classify new plant species. Or so he thinks that is what the expedition is about. An eclectic group of patriots are assembled and board an airship. They are determined to fly into the wild Ohio valley in search of the rumored descendants of the Welsh Prince Madoc. Of course things go awry very quickly when danger abounds at every turn. They lose members of the expedition and gain others all the while trying to outpace the French Army, willing to kill for the airship.
I’ve enjoyed the author’s previous books and this one again, shows he knows how to tell a story. There is never a dull moment. The characters make up an interesting group that adds just the right punch to the adventure. Billy is a genuine character, loyal to his father, but growing up and learning to make his own decisions. Before reading, I looked up William Bartram – what an amazing and accomplished man.
NetGalley review Publication date 8.27.13