The Wind from Entouhonoron
The Wind from Entouhonoron is aptly titled: the wind on the lake (now named Lake Huron) plays a pivotal role in this nautical adventure set during the War of 1812. The wind opens the book with hurricane force and continues to wreak havoc throughout, upsetting the plans of the several sail-dependent characters by either blowing too hard or else not at all. It also combines with other natural forces, in particular a wicked, haphazard “current-that-comes-from-nowhere” known as the Seiche. Humans, with all their ambitions and strivings, are merely pawns before these elements.
Tirrell has chosen his locale well; he appears thoroughly versed with sailing on the Great Lakes and also displays plausible historical detail, in particular the nineteenth-century wartime black market. Fans of this genre will probably delight in his freshwater take on the usual fare of high-jinks-on-the-high-seas, complete with missing heirs, sunken treasure, distressed damsels and pirates, not to mention warring armies. Newcomers, however, might tire in the see-saw between hostility and distrust among the long list of sympathetic villains and the romantic couple. None of the characters quite seem to leap out of the pages with as much vitality as does the wind.