Saturday, August 23, 2014

Virtual Book Tour: Plantation Nation by Mercedes King


Historical Fiction

Date Published: May 27, 2014

Sixteen year old Emma Cartwright runs away from her family’s South Carolina rice plantation after a slave is beaten to death. Determined to join the fight against slavery, Emma enlists in the Union Army disguised as a young man. Nothing could prepare her for the sacrifices needed—and for falling in love for the first time.    

My Review:

Can I give this book a hundred stars? I haven't had a book grab me the way this one has in quite a long time. I don't know if it was the story, the writing, the characters, or just the wonderful combination of all of these elements.

The story is actually quite gritty and dark throughout most of it with the constant thread of faith and hope woven in. It made me cry in the first few pages, and again later in the book. There were also times I smiled and wondered how Emma could be so bold, so courageous, and how she could get away with her ruse. There were so many times I thought for sure that she was going to be found out, if not by her size then by her behavior. It was quite exciting to read on, waiting to see what was going to happen to her next. 

The characters in this book are so real that I couldn't help but get emotionally attached to them. From the brutish Nash to the absolutely endearing and loving Eleanor, they are wonderfully individual and unique. I never felt like I was reading a story with some generic type of filler characters that you sometimes run across in books. 

As for the writing, well can I say wonderful again? I need a thesaurus! The writing becomes so much more than just writing. I completely lost myself in this book and quite forgot that I was just sitting in my comfy chair, reading on my kindle. In my mind I was in the story, watching Emma tend to the sick and injured, creeping across enemy lines, running for her life, or whatever else she was doing at the time. I don't want to give too much away!

Needless to say, I wholeheartedly recommend this book to anyone that enjoys a terrific historical fiction story that occurs during one of the most remembered wars fought on our soil. Having grown up on the North and now living in the South, I thoroughly enjoyed getting to experience this glimpse into the past. I even learned a few things about Lincoln and the war that I hadn't known before. 

I will say that there are some pretty intense and emotional happenings in the book. If you don't mind a little realistic medical and war scenes with your historical fiction, then this book is for you. None are unnecessarily gory, just bloody and painful enough to be realistic. 

I will definitely be looking for more books by this author. She has made a fan out of me.


Emma could no longer raise her head or open her eyes. She tasted her own blood and withered under the sun’s brilliance. Her back and legs throbbed from the lashes with the leather belt. The scent of honeysuckle drifted to her nostrils, but Emma quivered with agony and trepidation. She fought the oblivion that threatened to engulf her - fearing it was death.

Her heart searched for a prayer or a plea but nothing came. She wanted to cry out for her father, forgetting he was long dead.

Someone snatched a fistful of Emma’s hair and held up her head.

“Look!” Quinn said through gritted teeth. “Look at what you’ve done.” He touched his mouth to her ear. “Ain’t like he didn’t deserve it, though. Worthless wretch.”

Emma tried again to focus on the scene. At first, through the narrow slits of her swollen eyes, all she saw was a row of brown feet, naked and caked with mud past the ankles, a sure sign that rice planting was underway. She couldn’t find or concentrate on their faces now, but she knew that among the clan of thirteen laborers, Basil’s mother and brother were there watching. Fear reverberated from the mass. Children cried and stirred, but no one moved or averted their eyes. George had insisted.

Mercedes King

Mercedes King is an Ohio native and founding member of Sisters in Crime Columbus, Ohio (affectionately dubbed SiCCO). With a degree in Criminology from Capital University and a passion for writing, she crafted O! Jackie, a novel focusing on the private life of Jackie Kennedy. She has also written The Kennedy Chronicles, a series of short stories featuring JFK and Jackie before they were married and before 'Camelot'. Mercedes writes in a variety of genres, including historical and mystery / suspense. In fact, she's working on creating a new genre, 'modern historical'.
Her newest release, Plantation Nation, follows the journey of Emma Cartwright, a 16 year old Southern girl who disguises herself as a young man and joins the Union Army.
Visit her sites, or . Contact her at Mercedes 'at' ojackiebook 'dot' com. You can also connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Twitter: @Mercedes_King_
Instagram: mercedes_king_author

Disclosure: I received a copy of the ebook in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own. I was not required to leave a positive review.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you, Amanda! I LOVED writing this story, and I agree--could any of us be as brave and courageous as Emma? Would we sacrifice so much? Emma's good intentions don't always pan out, though. Here's hoping many readers enjoy her tale. :) Thank you, thank you for your kind, generous words!!


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