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Reviewed by Lucinda E Clarke for Readers' Favorite
Daniel V Meier’s Bloodroot is set at the beginning of the 17th century and tells the tale of the early days of the settlement by the British in Jamestown, Virginia. Men volunteered to sail to the new world for a variety of reasons. Matthew had attacked his employer and wished to avoid prison. Rumors flying around at the time spoke of an earthly paradise, where vast swathes of land were to be had and gold lay hidden in the hills just waiting to be mined. Some adventurers traveled to gain riches and then return home. Others planned to remain in a new and exciting world. The reality of the situation was quite different. While the London Company who funded the supply ships painted a glowing picture, they neglected to mention the Indian tribes who fought to protect their own land, the extreme temperatures, and the absence of any modern facilities. When Matthew arrives, along with his good friend Richard, they have different goals and the times and conditions will cause a deep and terrible divide between them.
I thoroughly enjoyed yet another book by Daniel V Meier. In Bloodroot, he returns to a familiar theme - the goodness and the brutality of man. Set in the early days of the Jamestown settlement in Virginia, when Matthew and his friend Richard arrive after a dangerous sea journey they have very different goals. Richard’s unfailing belief in the goodness of man does not serve him well in the new rough colony which is run by fear and force. His character is well-drawn and while realizing he is naïve in his beliefs, the reader is drawn to him. Matthew’s approach is more alert to the brutality of the adventurers, but at heart, he is a kind, fair and just character. The conditions of the settlement are so clearly drawn, and take you back four hundred years to suffer, cheer and weep with the folk in Jamestown. The deprivations during the long, hard winter will make you shiver. The author’s descriptions of the ways people fought to stay alive will haunt me for days. The tenacity to cling to life is brilliantly depicted in this story of greed, pride and superiority so unwisely let loose. In retrospect, it’s a miracle anyone survived and thrived. Highly recommended. Five stars without a doubt.