Ralph Peters: New Civil War Novel No 'Candy-Coated' Tale

Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!
Joined
Dec 31, 2010
Messages
6,721
Location
Kingsport, Tennessee
I have not read any of Ralph Peters Civil War works. I have read and enjoyed some of his other works.

Reading this thread and it appears I am missing out so I suppose soon I shall grab a few of his Civil War books. I hope he isn't biased to either side, too many books are biased.



View attachment 100906
Respectfully,
William
For me, his unbiased approach, adds to the quality of his work !
 

KansasFreestater

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Mar 14, 2014
Messages
4,088
Location
Due west of the Free State stronghold of Lawrence
I have not read any of Ralph Peters Civil War works. I have read and enjoyed some of his other works.

Reading this thread and it appears I am missing out so I suppose soon I shall grab a few of his Civil War books. I hope he isn't biased to either side, too many books are biased.
His three big novels so far (Cain at Gettysburg, Hell or Richmond, and Valley of the Shadow) feature historical characters, both great and small, on both sides of the conflict. He gets into their heads, gives them flesh and bone and heart, makes them come alive. Each book is about one particular battle or campaign, through the eyes of participants on both sides.

The books he wrote under the name Owen Parry are a little different, since they all have one narrator, a fictional Welsh immigrant who has been thrust by events into a sort of detective role for the Union army. Indeed, this narrator and his unique voice is the main reason to read the books. All his little Welsh turns of phrase are enchanting, and he has a viewpoint shaped by his own troubled past (as a British soldier in India during the Sepoy Rebellion) and his devout Methodist beliefs. Though this character, Abel Jones, now a U.S. soldier, is obviously on one side of the conflict, you will see, through his eyes, plenty of evil on the Union side. Indeed, this is what I like most about Peters, other than his compelling prose: He is very honest about human nature. There is good and evil on both sides, and in each individual.

The books by Ralph Peters writing as "Owen Parry" (the Abel Jones series) really should be read in order, which is as follows:
1. Faded Coat of Blue
2. Shadows of Glory
3. Call Each River Jordan
4. Honor's Kingdom
5. Bold Sons of Erin
6. Rebels of Babylon

(The last in the series is the only one I haven't read yet, because I dread finishing this series, which I wish would just go on and on. I keep putting off that last book, to be relished at some point as a special treat for myself!)
 

KansasFreestater

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Mar 14, 2014
Messages
4,088
Location
Due west of the Free State stronghold of Lawrence
P. S. to "He is very honest about human nature. There is good and evil on both sides, and in each individual."...

In Valley of the Shadow, Peters even makes me sympathize a tiny smidgen with the odious Phil Sheridan. Now that takes some doing, so you know he must be a good novelist! :sneaky:
 
Last edited:
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!

W. Richardson

Captain
Joined
Jun 29, 2011
Messages
5,930
Location
Mt. Gilead, North Carolina
Thank you East Tennessee Roots, and KansasFreestater for both of your post. I look forward to reading Peters Civil war works.

Too many good books could be so much better had not the obvious bias shown through, some Pro-South, some Pro-North. Too much finger pointing, too much blame goes on that we forget the human side to each sides story, we forget the personal trauma that a person and a nation went through.
Yes I get caught up in it as well, but neither side was without blame, was without atrocities, and neither was the evil that each side portrayed the other to be.



Rebel Hat.jpg

Respectfully,
William
 

theoldman

First Sergeant
Joined
Apr 22, 2013
Messages
1,553
Location
upper mid-west
His three big novels so far (Cain at Gettysburg, Hell or Richmond, and Valley of the Shadow) feature historical characters, both great and small, on both sides of the conflict. He gets into their heads, gives them flesh and bone and heart, makes them come alive. Each book is about one particular battle or campaign, through the eyes of participants on both sides.

The books he wrote under the name Owen Parry are a little different, since they all have one narrator, a fictional Welsh immigrant who has been thrust by events into a sort of detective role for the Union army. Indeed, this narrator and his unique voice is the main reason to read the books. All his little Welsh turns of phrase are enchanting, and he has a viewpoint shaped by his own troubled past (as a British soldier in India during the Sepoy Rebellion) and his devout Methodist beliefs. Though this character, Abel Jones, now a U.S. soldier, is obviously on one side of the conflict, you will see, through his eyes, plenty of evil on the Union side. Indeed, this is what I like most about Peters, other than his compelling prose: He is very honest about human nature. There is good and evil on both sides, and in each individual.

The books by Ralph Peters writing as "Owen Parry" (the Abel Jones series) really should be read in order, which is as follows:
1. Faded Coat of Blue
2. Shadows of Glory
3. Call Each River Jordan
4. Honor's Kingdom
5. Bold Sons of Erin
6. Rebels of Babylon

(The last in the series is the only one I haven't read yet, because I dread finishing this series, which I wish would just go on and on. I keep putting off that last book, to be relished at some point as a special treat for myself!)
But let that bide.:smile:
 
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!

Phiip McBride

Corporal
Joined
Jan 17, 2014
Messages
264
Location
Lockhart, Texas
I'm a huge fan of Ralph Peters novels. I think his star as the best American Civil War novelist now outshines Jeff Shaara-though I still read each new Shaara book. As others have mentioned, Peters has a gift for getting into the heads of key players on both sides and sometimes brutally portraying their unique personalities.

As a fledgling Civil War novelist, it's Peters, even more than Shaara or Bernard Cornwell's historical fiction, that inspires me.
 

KansasFreestater

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Mar 14, 2014
Messages
4,088
Location
Due west of the Free State stronghold of Lawrence
I'm a huge fan of Ralph Peters novels. I think his star as the best American Civil War novelist now outshines Jeff Shaara-though I still read each new Shaara book. As others have mentioned, Peters has a gift for getting into the heads of key players on both sides and sometimes brutally portraying their unique personalities.

As a fledgling Civil War novelist, it's Peters, even more than Shaara or Bernard Cornwell's historical fiction, that inspires me.
Wow, that is high praise for Peters indeed!

Kudos to you for jumping into that world yourself. Do you have any published yet?
 

Phiip McBride

Corporal
Joined
Jan 17, 2014
Messages
264
Location
Lockhart, Texas
This thread is about Col. Peters' terrific books, but thanks for asking about my own work.

I've four Civil War novels, independently published, on Amazon. The first one, Whittled Away, is about the 6th Texas Infantry in the Army of Tennessee. The plot of this one climaxes at the Battle of Franklin.

The next two novels, Tangled Honor and Redeeming Honor, and the half-finished third one, Defiant Honor, are a three set story about the 5th Texas Infantry in the Army of Northern Virginia. Here's an image of the cover to Redeeming Honor, and a link to my Amazon Authors Page is part of my signature here.

Redeeming Honor Final Front Cover.jpg
 
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!

Legion Para

Captain
Retired Moderator
Joined
Jul 12, 2015
Messages
6,061
For historical fiction to be good, the author must have a pleasant and captivating writing style, and a firm grasp of the subject matter.

I enjoyed Cain at Gettysburg.

If you like Ralph Peters, then let me recommend The Baraboo Guards by John K. Driscoll.



51td9HZeufL._UY250_.jpg
 

Legion Para

Captain
Retired Moderator
Joined
Jul 12, 2015
Messages
6,061
Sometimes historical fiction is better than real life non fiction. Leonard B. Scott is the author of five novels, four of which take in Viet Nam. What sets him apart from other authors of historical fiction, is that he writes from the heart and his first hand experience. His first four novels deal with the 173rd Airborne Brigade and LRRP's in Viet Nam. Scott served with the 173td and LRRP's in Viet Nam. I highly recommend his books.

518WTSAPP8L._AC_UL320_SR194,320_.jpg


51SU4BV4BgL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg
 

CheathamHill

First Sergeant
Civil War Photo Contest
Annual Winner
Joined
Oct 4, 2013
Messages
1,177
Just finished Cain At Gettysburg based on the recommendation of the board and reviews. Read it in real time over the Gettysburg anniversary weekend.
Some of the finest ACW fiction I have ever read. D*mn fine!
I think there is a little too much modern speak at times, but I be d*mned if it isn't some of the best combat description I have ever read in fiction.
Just started H E LL or Richmond, his 2nd one. Not as impressed so far as it seems to start a bit slower and the modern speak and terminology in the dialogue is kind of off putting. Hoping this one catches up to Cain At the 'Burg.
Great writer though, that's for sure.
 
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!

KansasFreestater

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Mar 14, 2014
Messages
4,088
Location
Due west of the Free State stronghold of Lawrence
Just finished Cain At Gettysburg based on the recommendation of the board and reviews. Read it in real time over the Gettysburg anniversary weekend.
Some of the finest ACW fiction I have ever read. D*mn fine!
I think there is a little too much modern speak at times, but I be d*mned if it isn't some of the best combat description I have ever read in fiction.
Just started H E LL or Richmond, his 2nd one. Not as impressed so far as it seems to start a bit slower and the modern speak and terminology in the dialogue is kind of off putting. Hoping this one catches up to Cain At the 'Burg.
Great writer though, that's for sure.
Hell or Richmond is magnificent. My only complaint is that I don't think he got Grant quite right. Grant was courteous as a rule, and liked Meade. He never would have pulled that cigar shenanigans Peters has him doing when he first meets Meade. And William Jones did not go to the war with him, either. I doubt Grant even had a body servant at all. Oh well, artistic license, I suppose.
 
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!

KansasFreestater

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Mar 14, 2014
Messages
4,088
Location
Due west of the Free State stronghold of Lawrence
I've read all three of his books and loved them all....Cain at Gettysburg being my favorite. Doesn't he have a fourth one on the way?
Yes! Just came out a week ago: The D*mned of Petersburg. Covers the Richmond-Petersburg theater from July 28 to October 31, 1864.

Peters says there will be one more after this one. I'm assuming it will be about the breakout and run to Appomattox.
 
Last edited:
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!
Top