Reviews Continued – Shadow Patriots

“If you like American history, you’ll love Shadow Patriots; a gritty, yet tender story of everyday people caught up in extraordinary times.”

Bertrice Small, author of Lara.

Bertrice added a personal note: “It really was a marvelous story, and its ending came as a complete surprise, but it was perfect.”


“A rousing story of a courageous young woman making her way through pestilence and war as the American Revolution breaks all around her, delivered with brilliant attention to detail that puts you precisely into the Revolutionary milieu even as the love story seizes your heart.”

David Nevin,
bestselling author of Meriwether


“There are so many ways to love this book: for its rollicking view of the American revolution, for the intrigue of spies in petticoats, for the lure of the period, or for Lucia St. Clair Robson’s spicy humor. Shadow Patriots is historical fiction that lets you smell the corn cakes in the oven as the muskets are loaded.”

Marlin Fitzwater,
Press Secretary to Presidents Reagan and Bush
and author of Call the Briefing and Esther’s Pillow, a novel.


“Lucia St. Clair Robson’s Shadow Patriots (Forge) immerses us in the Revolutionary War, which used to be the subject of good fiction — my childhood was spent devouring the novels of Kenneth Roberts — but not lately. Robson’s book, however, redresses that unfortunate imbalance as it tells the story of a Quaker woman who falls for the English Major John Andre and negotiates a tenuous tightrope between her sympathy for the American cause and her feelings for Andre, which are complicated by her family’s Loyalist sympathies.

It’s unusually well-researched — the period gradually envelops you as you read — and carries the author’s frequent air of dash and narrative conviction. Nor does it shy away from unpleasant accompaniments to war such as sudden death and other tragedies. This is historical fiction as it ought to be written and seldom is.”

Palm Beach Post
September 04, 2005


“Filled with fascinating detail, the book offers a panoramic picture of America on the brink of freedom. Familiar characters such as George Washington and Benedict Arnold reveal new facets, while the assortment of fictional characters Robson has created carry the story forward at a breathtaking pace.”

Morgan Llywelyn, author of 1916
A Novel of the Irish Rebellion


“Petticoat espionage in a decidedly stinky, dangerous Old New York.

Few novelists working now have a better grasp of early American history than Robson (Fearless, 1998, etc.), who, among her other virtues, understands that not every colonist talked like a pirate and shuns outré and anachronistic dialect.

In this spirited — and entertaining— confection, she turns her attention to a Quaker clan in a New York whose administration isn’t quite working at the dawn of the Revolution, with all the mounds of uncollected garbage that entails. The likes of General Howe and suave spy Major André wish very much to see royal governance restored, and Rob Townsend hasn’t been doing much to stop them; he “had watched the Continental Army straggle into the city four months ago, but this was not his fight. He was a Quaker, and he swore loyalty to no one but God.” Hearing the Declaration of Independence proclaimed changes Rob’s mind, and fellow Quaker Seth Darby and his 17-year-old sister Kate likewise opt for the rebel cause, all prepared to give their lives just as good Nathan Hale is about to do.

Rob has a thing for Kate (“He clasped his hands behind his back so she would not see them trembling”). So does Major André, and Kate has, well, reciprocal views: “He did have the most beautiful teeth and eyes. Kate felt the usual flutter in her chest whenever he was near.” Even Benedict Arnold, André’s onetime bete noir and ally-to-be, notices Kate, and he’s got his hands full with the tenacious Peggy Shippen, a figure nicely drafted out of real history to do duty here.

Chests heave, flintlocks discharge, and history takes its ever unpredictable twists and turns as spy meets spy, George Washington tells fibs that would make Parson Weems wince, Alex Hamilton takes offence at everyone and everything, and the Revolution suffers its darkest hours.

Wholly believable, confidently realized, attention-holding historical fiction.”


From Kirkus Reviews ( March 15, 2005


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