A Flight of Arrows

A Flight of ArrowsA Flight of Arrows by Lori Benton
Series: The Pathfinders
Genres: Historical Romance
Published by Waterbrook Press on April 19, 2016
Pages: 400
Also in this series: The Wood's Edge
Also by this author: The Wood's Edge

 

About A Flight of Arrows (from the back cover):
Twenty years past, in 1757, a young Redcoat, Reginald Aubrey stole a newborn boy—the lighter-skinned of Oneida twins— during the devastating fall of Fort William Henry and raised him as his own.

No one connected to Reginald escaped unscathed from this crime. Not his adopted daughter Anna. Not Stone Thrower, the Native American father determined to get his son back. Not Two Hawks, William’s twin brother separated since birth, living in the shadow of his absence and hoping to build a future with Anna. Nor Lydia, who longs for Reginald to be free from his self-imposed emotional prison and embrace God’s forgiveness— and her love.

Now William, whose identity has been shattered after discovering the truth of his birth, hides in the ranks of an increasingly aggressive British army. The Redcoats prepare to attack frontier New York and the Continentals, aided by Oneida warriors including Two Hawks, rally to defend it. As the Revolutionary War penetrates the Mohawk Valley, two families separated by culture, united by love and faith, must find a way to reclaim the son marching toward them in the ranks of their enemies.

How do I even begin to put into words all of the emotions and reactions and quotes I will cherish from this exquisite book? To put it simply, I can’t.  Not in any feasible attempt that will do justice to Lori Benton’s masterful talent in this novel.

But attempt it, I shall.

A Flight of Arrows captivated me from the moment I began reading it. Though circumstances forced me to put it down for a time, it lingered in my heart – nudging for my attention until I could resume reading and immerse myself in this world once more.

A Flight of Arrows captivated me from the moment I began reading it.

Colonial America, more specifically America during the early years of the Revolutionary War, comes to vibrant life under Lori Benton’s pen. While history marches across each meticulously researched page, the characters and events in A Flight of Arrows fit seamlessly into the ongoing story.  There were moments I quite literally held my breath as arrows left their bows or the sound of gunfire cracked in the vicinity. Battle scenes kept tension taut and emotion high, vivid in detail without ever losing Benton’s exquisite sense of syntax.

While history marches across each meticulously researched page, the characters and events in A Flight of Arrows fit seamlessly into the ongoing story.

And the characters…. Oh my goodness, the characters. They are breathtaking and honest, and they have set up camp in my heart. Two Hawks. Good Voice. Clear Day. Stone Thrower.  When these characters speak, listen. Such wisdom and grace coming from their lips. Anna and Lydia – I wish I could bottle their spirits, their hearts, their independence, and their love for Two Hawks and Reginald, respectively. And I can’t even get into Reginald and Stone Thrower and their relationship without bawling. Even Lang, an almost tertiary character, had me cheering at one point as I bookmarked his dialogue about the Declaration of Independence so I could mull over it further. The characters are flawed, to be sure, but realistically so. Dare I say, encouragingly so. Because in their flaws, I saw myself and my own struggles.  And in their honest words of mercy and grace, I saw Jesus and His redemption.

Mercy and grace and redemption are all over this book. Beautifully so.

Mercy and grace and redemption are all over this book. Beautifully so. Reminders to “Trust what Creator is doing, though we cannot understand it or see the full path” share the pages with a profound exploration of what it really means to honor one’s father, even when they are not behaving honorably. And through it all, Lori Benton takes us on a deeply emotional journey through romance, friendship, and sacrificial love. This will not only be one of my favorite books of 2016 but probably one of my top favorites for years to come!

–Carrie


I adore this book.  I love everything about it—the characters, the plot, the suspense, the spiritual themes, the gorgeous cover, the beautiful writing, everything.  This is a story that will stay with me for years to come and without a doubt I will read it over and over again.  The events that happen and the paths these characters walk are emotionally draining for the reader, but at the end, the peace and hope that’s left is immensely encouraging.  This is a book set in war, with families torn apart, ancient alliances broken and yet God is there, active and involved in the events that transpire.  This is history come alive, yet the lessons are still applicable today.

I adore this book.  I love everything about it—the characters, the plot, the suspense, the spiritual themes, the gorgeous cover, the beautiful writing, everything.

To be quite honest, I hardly know where to begin.  There are so many wonderful parts to this book, some things are just not going to make it in this review.  But I’ll start with Lori’s writing.  I am in awe of her writing.  This is not an easy book by any means.  There is a large quantity of historical information to sort through, settings for both the Americans and the Oneidas, cultural details, battles, and much more, just to bring the reader into 1777 colonial America.  Lori does an excellent job of paring down and incorporating a healthy amount of historical information without overwhelming the reader.  Her balance is spot on.

Equally well balanced is how she incorporates her spiritual themes.  This book could easily have wandered into preachy, but instead through the character’s actions, it show’s God without becoming overwhelming.  There are many wonderful and insightful conversations as well as characters putting their faith into action.  There is actually one storyline that I’ve seen in multiple books, that rarely works for me.  However, this time it did because I was so attached to the characters involved.

Speaking of characters, I wish these characters were real.  They are so good.  Two Hawks is just amazing.  He is could easily have fallen into the too perfect category, but he doesn’t.  He remains firm in his convictions and beliefs, but not without struggle.  His love for Anna is sweet and to steal fellow reviewer, Carrie’s line, swoon worthy. 🙂  However, probably his greatest characteristic is his respect and honor for both his father and Anna’s.  Some great dialog and wisdom are imparted during Two Hawks and Anna’s conversations.  I looked forward to every time he opened his mouth; it seemed like he always had something worth listening too.

This book could easily have wandered into preachy, but instead through the character’s actions, it show’s God without becoming overwhelming.

However, Two Hawks is not alone in being an incredible character.  Every character in this book is fantastic.  I was upset when things didn’t go as I wanted for some of the minor characters and was heartbroken when one died.  But this is great writing.  I truly cared about these characters and what happened to them.  Which actually made some of the events that happened even harder.  While this book is full of hope and is ultimately encouraging, there are things that happen that reflect reality, and not what the reader will necessarily want to happen.  I admire Lori for making these tough choices and letting the reader cry along with the characters as the war ravaged their land and stole so many lives.

I think I said this in my review of The Wood’s Edge and it holds true for this book as well.  Lori’s books will appeal well beyond the labeled genre.  It is classified as historical romance, but honestly it could be suspense, thriller, drama, or historical fiction just as easily.  This book has a lot of tension and not just the romantic tension between Two Hawks and Anna.  Because Lori doesn’t follow the ‘script’, things happen that are unexpected and many times I found myself bracing for what I suspected might happen next.  Sometimes it did and sometimes it didn’t.

Lori’s books will appeal well beyond the labeled genre.  It is classified as historical romance, but honestly it could be suspense, thriller, drama, or historical fiction just as easily.

When I turned the last page of this book, I was emotionally drained.  This is an incredible story set during an event in which as Americans, we tend to be very proud.  America won the war, but the cost was great.  I think Lori does an excellent job of reminding the reader that it came at a price to not just the colonials, but to the Native Americans as well.  She also highlights those tribes who fought with the colonist—their contributions, courage and sacrifice.

There’s a lot more that I could say about A Flight of Arrows, but I’ll cut my dissertation short.  🙂  This truly is a terrific book and I’m sad this series has ended.  While the ending is satisfying and quite encouraging, I do hope that readers will get to see these characters again.  I am not ready to leave them behind.  However, I am eagerly awaiting Lori’s next book.  I can’t wait to see what her next adventure will bring!

–Melissa

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