Thomas and Murphy are slaves toiling away on a southern farm in the late 1700's. Both want something more of their lives and itch for freedom. However, they have vastly different personalities. Thomas is mature, patient and a long-term thinker. He was from a ruling family in his former land and held slaves of his own. Murphy was born in the New World and is quick to act, ferociously strong and lives in the moment. Together, they try several times to escape their bonds and fail. That is, until unrest erupts between the colonists and the British. and the British declare that any slave that can make it to British property is free. Thomas and Murphy make it to a British ship and join up. They make a ferocious team and move up through the ranks. When the war is over, the British promised their soldiers benefits, but the former slaves still seem to get the short end of the stick.
This is an inspiring story of courage, determination and perseverance. I was immediately intrigued by Thomas and Murphy's characters as well as the setting. I have not read much at all about slavery before or during the War of Independence and have not read anything about the runaway slaves who fought for the British during the War. The unique characters shed a different light on slaves for the time period; both men were educated and Thomas came from a family that had owned slaves, which gave him a shifting outlook on life. I enjoyed learning about the real regiment that Thomas and Murphy originally joined, Lord Dunmore's Ethiopian Regiment, I had no idea that so many former slaves fought in the war of independence and had a major impact for the British. The men's outlook on life was what impressed me the most, the entire story encompasses the struggle for freedom; even when Thomas and Murphy were fighting for the British, they knew that no matter what side won, they might still be slaves in the end, but, they were willing since it meant they were fighting as free men. This also showed their willingness and inspiration, Thomas and Murphy knew they were fighting for the future; even if they still ended up slaves, their actions now might make things better for future generations. The writing presented an honest, gritty and realistic image and war and what people went through. These men did not have easy lives, from slavery, to war and even after, when they were promised land in Canada. the realities of Thomas and Murphy's struggles and hopes are presented sensibly. Overall, an eye-opening read about two amazing men during the War of Independence.
This book was received for free in return for an honest review.