In his novel Guns of Thunder, Douglas Bond wraps a story around the struggles and hardships surrounding colonists in pre-Revolutionary Connecticut. Ian M'Kethe is making the transition from boyhood to manhood, but in the process is uncertain of his character, his faith, and his abilities. As the threat of war looms on the horizon, a personal war ensues inside Ian, challenging his soul and heart.
The story is fast paced, spanning several years that are summarized in short chapters easily read in brief sittings. The author uses French expressions and Scottish dialect to capture the setting and culture of this period, and his vivid descriptions of the scenery and colonial atmosphere make the era come alive for the reader. The characters are well defined, and their relationships with each other are engaging and revealing. As each character ages, he or she grows in moral fiber and wisdom while not totally shedding parts of the old nature. Their reactions to the impact of war reveal much about who they are as Christians, as citizens, and as free thinkers. Each scene, whether on the farm or on the battlefield, is brought to life through vibrant narration.
Ian M'Kethe has many mentors, including a wise and silent Indian named Watookoog, and Ian's grandfather, Father Malcolm. They guide Ian to not waste his time fishing when he should become skilled at farming. Later, Ian is apprehensive about learning to fire a gun and making his first kill, but Father Malcolm offers comfort and guidance by drawing lessons from the Scriptures. But Malcolm is only a compass, and Ian must find his own way in life. This he does by way of challenges during the war. Ultimately, he learns what it means to please God and to lead a righteous life.
This novel will particularly appeal to young male readers or lovers of history. Guns of Thunder causes Christians to evaluate their own stances on peace, cooperation, forgiveness, and loyalty. Ė Jennifer Hess, Christian Book Previews.com
The MíKethe clan finds itself in pre-Revolutionary War Connecticut weathering a storm of religious and political upheaval. Ian MíKethe is forced to make a choice against enormous odds in the face of rising conflict between the Colonists and the French with their Indian allies. Ian makes an unlikely friendship with Watookoog, an Indian, and risks everything but gains something he thought he had lost forever.