4 out of 4 stars
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Dread Tribunal of Last Resort by Brian Kaufman is a novel following the life and moral issues of the main character Decker Brown. The book is set in the American Civil War and portrays a more Southern perspective as Decker Brown is Virginian born. What makes this book different from any other war story is that Brown is morally against slavery. He battles internally about fighting for a cause he does not believe in or choosing to join the Union and fight against his countrymen. The book is unique in that Decker Brown is knowledgeable of illuminations, otherwise known today as fireworks. Decker's knowledge of firework construction gives him an advantage in the war. This perspective of looking at the war on a weapon construction basis makes the book different from any other war story.
The positive aspects of this book are many. The main character is so complex, and this draws the reader into his life. The addition of a love interest adds so much poignancy to the story. The decisions that Decker makes and the sacrifices he is willing to make to stick to his morals. I particularly enjoyed the plot twist in the book that is so well written and unexpected that it leaves the reader in awe of Decker. The book is well written and heart-wrenching.
The negative aspects of this book are not many. The only thing I found negative, and this is a personal opinion rather than an actual negative point, is the description of slavery and how the South resisted the abolition of slavery to the point where the Ku Klux Klan came into existence. The previous statement is historically correct, but it is still difficult to read.
I would rate this book 4 out of 4 stars, a well-written book with minimal errors. It was historically accurate with concern to battle sites and generals. I did not rate this book any lower because it was excellent. It was compelling and heartbreaking and not predictable in the slightest. All of the plot twists were unexpected and brilliant.
I would recommend this book to anyone interested in American history or war history in general. The factual nature of the book intertwined with fictional characters allows the reader to consume knowledge whilst being able to follow a narrative. I recommend this book, mainly to an audience interested in war history. I also recommend it to anyone interested in a complicated love book as this is an integral part of the book.
Dread Tribunal of Last Resort
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