In the tradition of Patrick O'Brian and C. S. Forester, Poyer
offers the second volume of his novel-cycle titled The Civil War At
Sea. A story of brother against brother, in the campaign across
the waters of the world that decided the outcome of the most bitter
struggle America has ever waged.
We first met Lt. Ker Custis Claiborne, formerly of the United
States Navy, in Fire on the Waters. By his own admission,
Claiborne is "no admirer of the institution of Hamitic slavery."
Its horrors struck home on antislavery patrol along the
Coromandel Coast in the 1850's. But he's also a Virginian.
When the North decides to preserve an outworn Union by force, his
course is clear. In A Country of Our Own, he "goes
South", joining first the Virginia Navy, then the fledgling Confederate
States Navy in April, 1861.
After defending the shores of the Potomac alongside the hastily
mustered troops of the Army of Virginia, Ker runs the blockade out of
New Orleans aboard a converted sidewheeler turned Confederate raider.
He and his saturnine mentor Captain Parker Trezevant burn,
sink, and destroy across the Caribbean, to undermine the Union's
financial might and force a truce favorable to the Confederacy.
But when that first cruiser proves unstable, under-armed, and
short-legged, Ker joins Commander James Bulloch in England, to buy or
build a ship of war that can sweep Union commerce from the seas.
When a daring coup puts Ker in command of the fastest, most
dangerous raider ever to range from Brazil to Boston -- the ex-opium
clipper C.S.S. Maryland -- he'll set Yankee seamen a-tremble
wherever the water's salt and seagulls scream. And maybe even,
decide the issue of the war.
A Country of Our Own is historical sea fiction at its best -- authentic, engrossing, vivid, and masterfully paced, from the master sea-yarner whose tales some critics have ranked with those of Joseph Conrad and Herman Melville.
Hardcover ISBN... 0-684-87134-3 PRICE...25.00
Reviewers -- for review copies call Tracey Guest, Simon
& Schuster, (212) 698-7533.
Stores: To stock book at your location: Retail and Wholesale Sales - 1-800-331-6531, or call your wholesaler.
Special Sales - 212-698-2113
See the First Editions/Collector's Items page for autographed copies of the first edition hardcover.
Cover Art by Tom Freeman
From GONE WITH THE WIND to COLD MOUNTAIN, no other theme has gripped the American imagination like the Civil War. John Jakes, Bernard Cornwell, Shelby Foote, and others have crafted hugely popular works portraying the clash of the Northern and Southern armies.
At the same time, devoted fans devour the historical sea adventures of C. S. Forester, Alexander Kent, and Patrick O’Brian.
Yet till now no one has welded the two genres together, to produce a fictional saga woven around the events and characters of the American Civil War, at sea.
In FIRE ON THE WATERS, Elisha Eaker is twenty, the scion of a wealthy and politically connected mercantile family in Manhattan. As war looms, Eli joins the sloop of war U.S.S. Owanee as a volunteer, as much to escape his impending marriage to his headstrong cousin Araminta as to defend the flag. There he meets Lieutenant Ker Claiborne at his own moment of decision.
Claiborne, an Annapolis graduate, has seen action in the West Indies and the Africa Station as part of the U.S. Navy’s Antislavery Patrol. Cool and competent in storm or battle, Claiborne now faces an agonizing choice between his two loves -- the Navy, and his native state of Virginia, which is on the verge of declaring for the fledgling Confederacy. He knows no matter which he chooses, he'll be called a traitor. How can a man who values honor renounce his oath? But how can a man who loves his family, and his state, fight against them?
These two men, the Yankee and the Southerner, the volunteer and the regular, will personify the two sides in the desperate conflict that begins in 1861. Together with their rationalist shipmate, engineer and freethinker Theodorus Hubbard; Eaker’s cousin and fiancee, horsewoman, thespian, and eventual spy Araminta Van Velsor; and escaped Georgia slave turned Navy gunner Calpurnius Hanks, they will face storms, mechanical breakdowns, official blundering, treachery, and eventually the test of battle in the greatest war in American history.
Simon & Schuster published FIRE ON THE WATERS on July 10, 2001. Sign on for the adventure -- order at your local bookstore today. ISBN 0-684-87133-5.
to read first chapter!
See the First
Editions/Collector's Items page for copies of the first edition