A Reader's Opinion: DEFIANCE ON INDIAN CREEK by Phyllis A. Still



DEFIANCE ON INDIAN CREEK is a young reader type of historical novel set in the late 18th century in the 13 colonies of New England, specifically West Virginia where Michael Shirley resides with his family in a two-story log home. They also grow tobacco. Mr Shirley also works as a surveyor for the Crown.

It is also a time of great unrest. The Boston Tea Party is still fresh in people's minds and loyalties are getting divided between the British Crown and the idea of independence and self-government. There are also the native peoples who have not only been pushed out of their territories but are also being forced to take sides. Slavery, too, is still practiced and they are being promised freedom if they take up arms.

This is the world thirteen-year-old Mary Shirley finds herself in. The oldest child, she shoulders much responsibility, and with her awakening sensibilities, begins to question the current state of affairs as well as her father's involvement in them. Is he a loyalist? A patriot? Secret documents she accidentally finds leads her to believe her father may be a traitor of all things! Now her love and respect for him are torn. She cannot believe he is a traitor, but what about his secret meetings and those papers?

DEFIANCE ON INDIAN CREEK is a solid story and is subtitled "Dangerous Loyalties Book One" leading one to anticipate many sequels. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. The details of frontier life, from cooking, hunting, medicinal preparation, growing crops and such makes the story feel very authentic. The action scenes were quite taut, especially when Mary needs to disguise herself as her brother George in order to deliver an important dispatch as her father is too ill to ride.

I certainly would be interested in any sequels as there are story lines in Book One that are just developing, such as Mary's budding interest in young William McGuire, and the family's pending move to Kentucky amid all the revolutionary turmoil. While Mary is the storyteller here, there are Michael and George Shirley, which are strong male characters that a young boy could relate to. Recommended for young readers on up.


Rating: 4 Stars | Content Rating: 0 Hearts | Reviewed by: James Fisher


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Book One in the Dangerous Loyalties series - A Young Adult Historical Adventure Emotionally riveting adventure, survival, and precarious family relationships are weaved into this teen historical about Mary Shirley--a brave, tenacious thirteen-year-old girl who lives on the remote frontier of West Virginia in 1775 at the onset of the American Revolutionary War. Cooped up in a dimly lighted cabin with her seven siblings and Momma, Mary dreams of a peaceful future with friends and suitors. But she's worried about her family's survival. When Papa returns home with news that the Indians have agreed to stay away from the Western settlements, Mary breathes a sigh of relief. But when he speaks of pending revolutionary war against Britain, declares his loyalty to King George III, and plans to move to Kentucky territory, Mary is confused and afraid. She discovers mysterious surveys with riddles and a hidden box in the barn that contains secret documents. When she witnesses Papa betray a patriot neighbor at a nearby fort and later reads a disturbing letter that implicates him as a traitorous spy, Mary is ashamed of him. He is endangering the family, and she must find a way to change his mind. Her emotional struggles lead to lost trust and acts of defiance. When Papa returns deathly ill from a survey job and asks Mary to deliver a lifesaving dispatch, she balks. Is loyalty to Papa more important than loyalty to the revolutionary cause? Lives are in danger no matter what choice she makes. In the Dangerous Loyalties series, Mary Shirley faces many heart-stirring adventures as she acquires the skills and maturity needed to survive the American Revolution. She has to become a tough, resilient, and practical-minded frontier woman of faith, enduring the hard life of the Western settlements in the 1700s.


Genre: Historical Fiction/Young Adult | Pub Date: July 19, 2016 | Page count: 212pp | Publisher: White Bird Publiscations

Format Read: E-Book | Source: Provided by the author or publisher



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