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Freedom Pledge


Worth reading 😎

A gritty look at relations in 19th century Ireland and the Russian Empire against the backdrop of a devastating and suspenseful war.

Freedom Pledge has conflict at every turn, as Lieutenant Samuel Kingston and his men desperately fight from behind enemy lines to reach safety and deliver vital intelligence. It's pretty gory, but I don't think it'd be right to write a war novel that wasn't. It'd be an inaccurate depiction, for starters, and war glorification is undoubtedly dangerous. Samuel and his men are sabotaged while unloading from their ship, and end up miles away, stuck behind thousands of Russian soldiers. Their story includes a lot of commentary-tinged a bit by a 21st century perspective-on Catholic and Protestant relations in Ireland and Christian and Islamic relations in the Russian Empire.

Twomey clearly did his research, especially when it comes to the weapons described in the book. I enjoyed reading about the advancements of the time (guns in this case), particularly when it came to the difference they made in battle. The strength of a historical novel often comes down to details such as this, or the difference in horses from different countries. Researching and referencing casually contributes greatly to the feeling of immersion for the reader, but it also says a lot about the writer's dedication.

Sadly, there was little to no character development in this novel, but Samuel at least has a clearly defined personality and opinions. These are pretty much the same from beginning to end, which unfortunately suggests the novel didn't really accomplish anything. Overall, it would've been better to see how the grueling circumstances impacted the men, but the main focus was clearly excitement. Samuel's values are set and can be traced back to his childhood, and his experiences just back them up. It might've been interesting to see religion play a bigger role in the book (in regards to character development particularly), as the major conflict between different peoples in Ireland and the Russian Empire had everything to do with religion. That being said, this book is marked as a prequel, so character development could be reserved for the main series.

I'll definitely be keeping up with Twomey's works, and will recommend this to my fellow history nerd friends.

Reviewed by

I fell in love with reading when I was eight years old, and after that it was hard to get my nose out of a book. I review a variety of genres, but gravitate most towards historical fiction. Nothing beats the excitement of a new adventure, and I love connecting others with theirs!

About the author

I was born in Ireland and lived in the USA before moving to Costa Rica. My adventures as an international yacht racer and professional deep-sea diver provided the hair-rising experiences that allow me to share the raw emotions of fear and conflict with readers. view profile

Published on November 27, 2020

40000 words

Genre: Historical Fiction

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