Sparrowhawk Book lV: Empire

Written by Edward Cline
Review by Mark F. Johnson

Book IV of this series revolves around the Stamp Tax debates in the Virginia House of Burgesses between 1764 and 1765. Hugh Kenrick reluctantly runs for an open seat and is easily elected. Upon joining the House, he meets a young Thomas Jefferson and an already controversial firebrand, Patrick Henry. Hugh joins forces with Mr. Henry, and together they push the reluctant House to pass resolutions protesting the Stamp Act; resolutions seen as near treason by some and as useless whimpers by others. The eloquence and logical thinking of the players on this stage are in stark contrast to the simian-simple sound bites that pass as political speechmaking these days.

While not as action-packed and swift moving as the earlier books in this series, Empire is just as wonderfully written. I was barely into the first chapter when I found one of many exquisite passages I’ve come to expect from this author. This story is the framework, built upon the foundation of the previous books, which will no doubt rise to become an epic telling of the saga of the American Revolutionary War as it has never been told before. I eagerly await Book V.