Crogan's Loyalty (Crogan's Adventures #3)Featured
In that one simple stroke – the meeting of two brothers who otherwise feel no great hostility towards each other (beyond normal sibling tension) and who therefore are forced to view the “enemy” sympathetically – CROGAN’S LOYALTY manages to add more nuance and complexity to the whole question of American independence than a hundred textbooks. It cuts through piles of grade-school propaganda about the plucky Americans fighting the cruel British, and allows the two brothers to argue their reasons for which side they have chosen to support without judgment.
Nor does the story overlook the thousands of people – settlers and Native Americans – who did not wish to involve themselves in the conflict and for whom the outcome was to some extent irrelevant. One side plot, for example, involved the brothers visiting a local Native American tribe, peaceful in their interactions with the European settlers despite the steady encroachment upon their land. Both sides want them to enlist, but the chief insists they have no wish to fight for either side. This volume also includes a strong female character, Bess, whom Will loves and who is quite capable of rescuing herself when she is kidnapped by a disenchanted and homeless Native American.
The drawings are simple, pen-and-ink type cartoons, although that is not to say that they lack subtlety. Bess is charmingly un-pretty and the Hessian soldiers who form Charles’ unit are square and small-eyed. The brothers both have enormous round ears, and the shifts in perspective, particularly during fighting, are almost dizzyingly quick.
Although some of the more complex historical ideas might be lost on younger readers, they will still enjoy the adventure, while older readers will find much food for thought about familial relationships and complex politics surrounding the founding of our nation.