King Cotton

Fiction - Historical - Event/Era
374 Pages
Reviewed on 02/22/2024
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    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

King Cotton is a work of fiction penned by author Richard A. Noble in the historical fiction, interpersonal drama, and American military subgenres. It is best suited to the general adult reading audience. The action follows Jack Bailey, a young cotton exporter during the U.S. Civil War. With impending war, Bailey strategizes to sell domestically, necessitating a cover to navigate the blockade. He lands a job with photographer Mathew Brady, bringing him into contact with notable figures like Lincoln, Grant, and Harriet Tubman. Despite associations that hint at involvement in Lincoln's assassination, Bailey is mainly indifferent to the conflict's reasons or outcome, focused on profit. However, his experiences during the war, encounters with slavery, and romantic entanglements compel moral growth. Bailey's journey takes him through significant events like Fort Sumter and Gettysburg, offering factual history within an engaging narrative.

Author Richard A. Noble's meticulous blend of historical accuracy with fictional storytelling creates a rich tapestry of the period, showcasing all the glory, hardship, and turbulence of the American Civil War. Through Bailey's eyes and the incredible atmospheric descriptive work of each scene, readers witness pivotal moments and encounter real historical figures with a strong sense of attitude and authenticity that is consistent throughout. The exploration of Bailey's moral evolution amidst the chaos of war and profit-driven endeavors adds a compelling central focus to the tale, and the intricate and realistic portrayals of his speech, thoughts, and actions, prompt reflection on personal ethics in turbulent times. Overall, King Cotton is a riveting immersion into the U.S. Civil War era and a captivating journey that I would thoroughly recommend.