I am about 1/3 of the way through this excellent book. The book shines when Benedict Arnold shows up. Roberts lets you understand the brilliance of Arnold. Arnold does get fooled in the first book but you see a human quality. One also grasps the inside politics club of the early revolution.
Before reading these two books I really recommend reading With Musket and Tomahawk and Through a Howling Wilderness. Those books provide excellent groundings to appreciate Roberts.
Roberts was definitely way ahead of his time. Benedict Arnold as a brave visionary was really not something the nation was ready for. The real hero of the first book is the Abenaki Nattanis. In an era where Indians were portrayed uniformly as sex charged savages Arundel stands out. Nattanis is mentioned in the second book but has not made an appearance. Then again the lovable frequently drunk Cap Huff provides the role as lovable rouge stealing food, learning from his bigotry and loyal friend.
Roberts points out the parts of loyalists being forced out and sometimes the revolutionaries are opportunists. He points clearly to the arrogance of those in England who didn't grasp that maps
and reality are different. Reading a map in a parlor in the UK is quite different than a trek across the Champlain Valley. Parts of it are still a howling wilderness today and the folks in England had a very poor grasp of this. What is truly odd is that this should have been well known as the area
in question was the scene of many battles of the French and Indian War.
I am still trying to locate the last three Roberts Books. Lydia Bailey uses the first Barbari War and the Haitian Revolution as a back drop. His take should be excellent.
Beakerkin's recomended Historical Fiction list
9 The Hope
8 Winds of War
7 The Haj
6 Mila 18
4 Drums Along the Mohawk
One day I have to get around to reading The Source and Poland. Michner really is the best at this type of writing. I think the only other Michner book I have not read was Space. All of his work is pretty good.