Christopher Nuttall's Sons of Liberty was published by Elsewhen Press in April 2016 (e-book) and August 2016 (paperback).
Information about Christopher Nuttall:
Christopher Nuttall has been planning sci-fi books since he learnt to read. Born and raised in Edinburgh, Chris created an alternate history website and eventually graduated to writing full-sized novels. Studying history independently allowed him to develop worlds that hung together and provided a base for storytelling. After graduating from university, Chris started writing full-time. As an indie author, he has self-published a number of novels. The Royal Sorceress was the first of his novels to be published by Elsewhen Press. Chris is currently living in Edinburgh with his wife, muse, and critic Aisha and their son.
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Information about Sons of Liberty:
From Christopher Nuttall, best-selling science-fiction and fantasy author, comes the next instalment in his hugely popular fantasy / alternative history adventure Royal Sorceress series.
The long-dreaded war between Britain and France has finally begun. French soldiers have landed on English soil and the British Army - and the Royal Sorcerers Corps, led by Lady Gwen - is moving to meet them. But when an inexperienced major disobeys her orders and sends two hundred hussars to their deaths, Gwen accidentally uses her magic to permanently damage his mind and sparks a political crisis at the worst possible time.
In the aftermath of the battle, Lord Mycroft suggests she leave Britain and head to the North American colonies, where British forces are anxiously awaiting a French offensive. The local sorcerers have been poisoned, the local government is barely keeping the colonies under control, the slaves are mutinous and revolution against the crown is brewing. The few locals with any known magical talent are untrained and certainly not ready for combat, but - if they can be trained in time - they may be all that stands between the colonies and defeat.
Accompanied by Irene Adler and Raechel Slater-Standish, agents of the British Crown, Gwen heads to North America. But it may be too late to save the colonies from a disaster that has been long in the making...
In Sons of Liberty, Gwen is sent from the relative safety of London to the colonies, where an undercurrent of revolution still abounds and intrigue and espionage are essential to keep the enemy at bay. But who exactly is the enemy? In the latest book in this exciting alternative history series, Christopher Nuttall expands Gwen’s horizons beyond Europe into the New World.
A REVIEW OF CHRISTOPHER NUTTALL'S SONS OF LIBERTY
Christopher Nuttall's Sons of Liberty is the fourth novel in The Royal Sorceress series of alternaty history novels. It wonderfully continues the shamelessly entertaining story of Lady Gwen that began in The Royal Sorceress and then continued in The Great Game and Necropolis, because it's a bit different from the previous novels. In this novel, Lady Gwen faces new challenges and has to think about certain things that could affect her life.
I admire the author's ability to write entertaining alternate history with fantasy elements, because there's nothing heavy or annoying about his writing style. His novels are highly enjoyable and they allow readers to fully immerse themselves into them. This is something that several alternate history authors are not capable of achieving in their writing, because they fail to entertain readers and their stories lack imagination.
Christopher Nuttall clearly seems to enjoy writing entertaining speculative fiction, because once you start reading Sons of Liberty, you get the feeling that he aims to entertain readers by investing time into developing interesting characters and creating intriguing happenings. He uses historical elements and facts to write fluent entertainment and adds plenty of magic and imagination to the story.
Here's a bit of information about the story:
At the beginning of this novel, Lady Gwen is fighting against French magicians. During the battle Gwen accidentally damages the mind of Major Shaw who has sent two hundred hussars to their deaths... When Raechel Slater-Standish was convinced by Gwen that she could be more than just a brainless beauty, she begins her agent training with a woman called Irene... Gwen is sent to the North American colonies to train new sorcerers. When she and her companions arrive in America, they find out that trouble is brewing there...
This is the beginning of an entertaining and adventurous story about power, war, freedom, revolution and magic.
By having Lady Gwen travel into the North American colonies the author brings plenty of freshness to the story. He writes captivatingly about the political tensions that brew in the colonies. His approach to politics and freedom issues is interesting, because he doesn't alienate his readers by focusing on slowly developing political issues, but keeps things in motion (it's enjoyable to read a novel in which things actually develop and go forward instead of staying put).
The author writes perfectly about how Gwen feels about the war and what she has to do, because her life is not easy. She still has a lot to prove to others, because she's a powerful woman surrounded by men who either support or try to undermine her authority. Because women are not considered to be powerful, they are expected to be submissive and obedient to men, but Gwen is unlike other women and can think for herself. She has strong opinions about certain things.
I enjoyed reading about how Raechel was trained to become an agent, because she had to go through humiliating and tough training sessions to become an effective agent. She had to learn how to disguise herself as other people and how to shield her mind from those who could read her thoughts.
The author wrote well about spies and what was expected of them. They had to be capable of doing deeds that other people wouldn't do in order to play their roles convincingly and gain useful information. For example, a spy might have to seduce people and have sex with them in order to gain hidden information.
One of the best things about this novel is that the author writes fluently about what life was like for women during Victorian times and what was expected of them. He also writes about what may happen to women who dare to question their social position and do something that goes against the social etiquette. If women dare to act like men, they often end up regretting it. They have to pay great attention to their reputation, because gaining a bad reputation could have an extremely bad effect on their future.
The voyage to America was handled well, because Christopher Nuttall wrote believably about what happened aboard the ship. I was pleasantly surprised by how easily he wrote about what the characters did and how they interacted with each other during the voyage. What happens between Gwen, Irene and Raechel is interesting.
Because magic has been an important part of The Royal Sorceress series since the beginning, it was delightful to read about it. I like Christopher Nuttall's way of writing about magic and magical abilities, because it seems to come naturally to him. In this novel, he writes compellingly about the training of new sorcerers. I won't write any spoilers about the happenings related to magic and magicians, but I can mention that readers are in for a few surprises as the story begins to unfold.
It's good to mention that the author also pays attention to the dangers of magic. If used wrongly, magic can be very dangerous and can cause lots of harm to its user and also to others (the consequences of using magic in a wrong way can de deadly). You have to know what you're doing in order to control magic properly.
I think it's great that the author has added a bit of humour to the storyline, because it lightens the story in a wonderful way. Humour is an effective tool to entertain readers and the author masters it so well that you can't help but enjoy his sense of humour.
The author succeeds in writing fluently about sex and sexual situations, because he doesn't shy away from them. He also writes fluently about what happens between different characters.
I'm aware that this may sound a bit odd and readers may disagree with me on this, but Sons of Liberty reads a bit like a magical blend of AMC's TURN: Washington's Spies and a few novels written by John Jakes. If you're familiar with the AMC show or have read novels written by John Jakes, you'll most likely find the story enjoyable.
If you've read any of Christopher Nuttall's previous novels and found them entertaining, please read Sons of Liberty as soon as possible, because it's excellent and fluently written entertainment for adult readers. It's a shamelessly entertaining alternate history novel with plenty of magic.