A Tainted Dawn by B.N. Peacock
Published on March 1, 2012
Published by Fireship Press
August 1789. The Rights of Man. Liberty. Equality. Idealism. Patriotism.
A new age dawns.
And yet, old hostilities persist: England and Spain are on the brink of war. France, allied by treaty with Spain, readies her warships. Three youths--the son of an English carpenter, the son of a naval captain, an the son of a French court tailor--meet in London, a chance encounter that entwines their lives thereafter. The English boys find themselves on the same frigate bound for the Caribbean. The Frenchman sails to Trinidad, where he meets an even more zealous Spanish revolutionary. As diplomats in Europe race to avoid conflict, war threatens to erupt in the Caribbean, with the three youths pitted against each other.
Will the dawn of the boys' young manhood remain bright with hope? Or will it become tainted with their countrymen's spilt blood?
A Tainted Dawn is a story of duty, strength and revolution. B.N. Peacock has given readers three very different characters, Edward, Jemmy, and Louie, who are struggling to find their voice and path to adulthood. This ongoing struggle takes place when England, Spain and France are on the brink of war. All three must go to sea to face their demons and decide where they want to be.
My favorite character from A Tainted Dawn is Edward. I loved his sense of honor and pride. He showed tremendous strength throughout the book. His love/hate relationship with the sea seemed so honest. My favorite lines were his description of his love and you understood why he could withstand all the abuse to stay close to the sea.
The sea. Yes, the sea, his mistress. How could he leave her? Before he’d ever seen her, she’s dazzled him. Looking out at the sea now, as it stroked the sand, it was as if a beautiful woman stroked him. The sea, a seductive woman, treacherous and not easily wooed, one whom he’s never be sure of winning, one for whom he’s already had developed a healthy respect. The wind was her scent, exciting him, arousing him. Coral reefs the jewelry of the undulating body. The waves her touch, alternately playful or punishing. Pg. 87
Such beautiful words to describe Edward’s feelings!
I really couldn’t get very excited with the other two characters. Louie, I didn’t like him at all. I’m not a huge fan of the French Revolution. I thought it was brutal and unnecessary, especially since the French tried to copy the American Revolution. I found Louie to be a spoiled brat. With Jemmy, I had a little more sympathy. His character portrayed how the very poor are treated in England and it wasn’t very well. He didn’t have many choices in life. He tried the best he could with what he had.
Overall, I thought A Tainted Dawn was a very noteworthy historical fiction novel. At times, it reminded me of Horatio Hornblower, particularly with Edward’s story. I’m looking forward to what Edward, Louie and Jemmy will face in upcoming sequels.
About B.N. Peacock
B. N. Peacock’s love of history started in childhood, hearing stories of the old Austro-Hungarian Empire from her immigrant grandparents. They related accounts handed down from their grandparents about battlefields so drenched in blood that grass cut there afterwards oozed red liquid. Such tales entranced her. These references probably dated to the time of the Napoleonic Wars. No wonder she was drawn to this time period. In addition to history, she showed an equally early proclivity for writing, winning an honorable mention in a national READ magazine contest for short stories. The story was about history, of course, namely the battle of Bunker Hill as seen from the perspective of a British war correspondent.
The passion for writing and history continued throughout high school and undergraduate studies. She was active in her high school newspaper, eventually becoming its editor-in-chief. After graduation, she majored in Classical Studies (Greek and Latin) at Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, PA. In her junior year, life took one of those peculiar turns which sidetrack one. A year abroad studying at Queen Mary College, University of London in England led to the discovery of another passion, travel. She returned and finished her degree at F&M, but now was lured from her previous interests in history and writing.
Her work continues on Book Two in The Great War series, tentatively to be called Army of Citizens, with new trips planned to England, France and Belgium.