Several months ago I attended a “Rabbit Room on the Road” event. I had the pleasure of meeting several Rabbit Room authors and purchased books by all of them except the brothers A.S. (“Pete”) Peterson and Andrew Peterson.
I already owned Andrew Peterson’s Wingfeather Saga. That series was, in fact, my introduction to the Rabbit Room gang.
A.S. Peterson’s books weren’t the right age range for my kids (more on that later). Besides, I had already gone over my budget. However, in the following months, I kept thinking about his Fin’s Revolution series (The Fiddler’s Gun and The Fiddler’s Green), wishing I could read them.
Summary of The Fiddler’s Gun
Guilty of the dreadful crime of being born a girl when her parents wanted a boy, Phinea Button is left at a rural orphanage in the Georgia colony about 20 years before the American Revolution.
Despite the best efforts of Sisters Carmaline and Hilda, Phinea (now Fin) grows up behaving as one of the boys only tougher.
The first part of The Fiddler’s Gun is a coming of age story. Fin reaches adulthood, yet isn’t the proper young lady she is supposed to be but also can no longer just be one of the boys. It ends with her, through unfortunate circumstances not entirely of her own making, having to flee the orphanage.
In the second part of The Fiddler’s Gun, Fin flees to Savannah. There, mistaken for the boy she always pretended to be, Fin is pressed into service aboard a merchant ship. With the onset of the war, the sailors become privateers (state-sponsored pirates).
I’ll end my summary there to avoid spoilers. In short, The Fiddler’s Gun develops its main character well then plunges her into one adventure after another.
Review and Recommendation
The characters are well developed, the plot intriguing, and the adventure exciting and emotional. What struck me most though was the distinct phrasing of the individual sentences, ranging from clever to beautiful and never tiresome.
Word of warning: this is not a children’s story. There is violence, colorful language, murder, and even attempted sexual assault, though nothing is portrayed gratuitously. I always recommend parents read books first before giving them to the children but especially with this book. Especially if you’re coming from the children’s stories of his brother, Andrew, or his wife, Jennifer Trafton, you may need to reset your expectations.
That said, it is a good, well-written story. I would recommend it for fans of historical fiction (or just a good adventure tale) who are “young adults” or older.
You can listen to the “audiobook” for free right now. In honor of the book’s tenth anniversary, Peterson started a podcast called “Fin’s Revolution” where he reads the books. The first 12 chapters are available now with the rest to come by the end of the year.