Kiersten Marcil’s debut novel Witness to the Revolution transports readers – and twenty-first century prosecutor Savannah Moore – back in time to the American Revolution. After a day at court, Savannah inexplicably finds herself thrust into the middle of blistering bullets and military chaos. Captain Jonathan Wythe, a handsome Continental, rescues her, and a mysterious journey begins.
The first soldier I killed was a kid, and he haunted all my dreams after that.
The twenty-first century doesn’t prepare you for 1778.
Savvy desperately desires to return home. Eighteenth-century life might be fun for a weekend reenactment, but not for permanent living. Even as he promises to help her, she accompanies Jonathan on a critical – and secret – mission that leads to eye-opening revelations about the captain, his charge, and their companions.
The pair do not journey alone through the battle-stricken Highlands of New York, however. Enter in the dark, sinister, watchful presence that stalks their steps. It revels in bloodshed, never seen, only sensed. Who knew the American Revolution came with a dose of the supernatural?
Ultimately, Savannah faces a difficult decision: search for a way back to her own time or assist Jonathan in his mission. Either way, our protagonist plays a bigger role in the story of the American Revolution than she knows.
Witness to the Revolution should be required reading of anyone interested in American history or historical fiction. From accurate and engaging descriptions of the Revolution to lovingly-drawn and fascinating characters, this book has it all.
Savannah’s character development shines in the narrative. From the first time she falls rear-first into American history, Savannah struggles with adapting to eighteenth-century life. While offering some comedic relief, these struggles also highlight her very real peril. Every day offers some new danger or situation, and Savannah faces them with courage, conviction, and unshakeable determination.
Additionally, Marcil tugs on readers’ emotional heartstrings as Savannah contends with her burgeoning friendship and relationship with Jonathan. Though their slow-born romance builds over the novel, the captain remains an enigma for our heroine. Something very mysterious simmers beneath his surface.
Finally, Savannah struggles with the very nature of history and reality itself. Does she remain an innocent bystander despite the battles raging around her? Or does she engage with the past, knowing full well the possible cost to her present and her family?
Overall, Witness to the Revolution satisfied the time-traveling reading itch I didn’t know I had. Marcil effortlessly balances historical research and realism with supernatural elements to craft a highly readable historical fantasy sure to please a wide swath of readers.
Thank you to Kiersten for offering me a copy of this book in exchange for a review!
Title: Witness to the Revolution
Author: Kiersten Marcil
Publisher: Champagne Book Group
Publication Year: 2022
Page Count: 432pp (eBook count)
Featured image: The American Revolution, George Washington at Valley Forge, Percy Moran, photomechanical print, c. 1911 (©Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, 92506172/Public Domain)