Roland: Of Pirates and Patriots

Written by Timothy Freriks
Review by Christoph Fischer

This is a fascinating novel about the lesser known War of 1812 – a conflict between the young United States and Britain that played out in the background of the Napoleonic Wars. The book filled a few big gaps in my understanding of that period.

The story begins in 1800 with a shipment of gold from London to the New World. The precious cargo is lost and will be hunted in the years to follow, leading the reader down the path of pirate adventures and political intrigues.  The author strikes a fine balance between the coming-of-age part concerning Roland, the boy who knows where said gold is hidden, and the depiction of the historical facts.

There is a slight formatting issue, with the opening chapter starting on a left-hand page. While not detrimental to the story these sort of errors do shout “self-published” and where indie struggles to prove itself equal to traditional standards this can cause a poor impression of presentation. However, a fun read that should appeal particularly to younger readers.