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King's Mountain: A Ballad Novel (Ballad #10)

3.5  ·  Rating Details ·  705 Ratings  ·  171 Reviews
John Sevier had not taken much interest in the American Revolution. Homesteading in the Carolina mountains, Sevier was too busy fighting Indians and taming the wilderness to worry much about a far-off war, but when an arrogant British officer sends a message over the mountains, threatening to burn the settlers' farms and kill their families, the Revolutionary War becomes p ...more
ebook, 336 pages
Published September 24th 2013 by Thomas Dunne Books
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(showing 1-30)
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Kelly B
Oct 16, 2013 Kelly B rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: No one
Considering this book is about a battle during the Revolutionary War, I expected the book to be at least somewhat exciting. Instead, I found it dull.

The biggest problem I had with King's Mountain was the way the story was told. The two main characters (John Siever and Virginia Sal) tell the story from first person point of view, in separate chapters. I felt this method did not work. It seemed the only reason the author wrote in this way was so the characters could have long, often boring convers
This is an old fashioned highly detailed American Revolution period in Appalachia. Sacrifice and duplicity often reigned in order to walk the lines for survival. Much more of the military end 1780 in areas that are rarely highlighted for that war and those relevant loyalties. Difficult homesteading indeed.
Mar 15, 2014 Joyce rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Although this book is designated as a continuation of McCrumb's rich "ballad" series, it departs in many ways from the other ballad novels. It is a rich and informative coup in historical writing, bringing dead history to life, as do McCrumb's other novels. However, it lacks the connectors between past and contemporary Appalachia that I see as so enriching in the previous novels. It also lacks that wonderful play on magic realism and infusing of the concept of the many ways of knowing that alway ...more
Nov 25, 2013 Marci rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked this book, but I found it much harder to read than any Sharyn McCrumb book ever. Usually her books are first rate. This one was written in such a deliberately slow pace that I kept putting it down for a day or two, until my curiosity would build back up. And yet, I didn't want to leave this book unfinished. It does a great job of teaching you what the main character tells his teenaged sons: war is mostly tedium, with a few exciting minutes of battle between long stretches of little happe ...more
Excellent fictionalized account of the Battle of King's Mountain near the North and South Carolina border in 1780. McCrumb tells the story from several viewpoints, including that of Colonel John Sevier, a militia leader from the northwestern part of North Carolina who helps form a rag tag army of volunteers to hunt down British commander Major Patrick Ferguson, who has been threatening local farmers who refuse to stay loyal to the crown. It is an interesting look at how the little army formed, c ...more
Apr 25, 2014 Arlene rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels
I have always enjoyed Ms McCrumb's writing. She knows the people of Appalachia and writes about them with pride and warmth. I was especially interested in this book as one of my North Carolina ancestors was an Over Mountain man. I have always been proud of that line of my family but more so today after reading King's Mountain. As I read the book, I see many similarities between the Mountain Men of the 1700s and their progeny who live on in the mountains today! A fierce loyalty to the land and a ...more
Jun 18, 2014 Casie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
McCrumb is one of my favorite authors, and I especially enjoy her Ballad novels. This book is about the American Revolution, and for me, it was heavy on war details and light on the interactions between the characters. Sharyn McCrumb always describes the Appalachian scenery very well, the dialog is perfect, and the character development leaves you feeling as if you really knew these people. Maybe I didn't enjoy it as much because it's about war, or maybe she held back a bit because she was writi ...more
May 23, 2015 Cindy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There is a reason that Jonesboro Tennessee holds a story tellers event every year, and it is because the very best story tellers are from the region. The hills of Tennessee, Virginia and North Carolina have many legends and the residents of the area have been telling them for years. Before the advent of television, mountain people told their children stories of all ilk. Some of these tales frightened the children into staying close to home. Some were of lost loves, many were of battles and such ...more
Diana Gotsch
Early in this historical Fiction about the King's Mountain battle in the Revolutionary War A seasoned veteran tell a young boy that war is as much about walking and waiting and sleeping rough as it is adventure and excitement. That would be a fairly good description of this book.It is 326 pages in length. The battle the book is about starts near page 249 and is mostly over by page 272.The rest is mostly walking and waiting.

I usually like Sharyn McCrumb's ballad books. They are based on true sto
Oct 05, 2013 Brick rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This novel gives an interesting backstory to the Southern Mountain culture that forms the backdrop to the Ballad series. The author makes the history come alive thru her descriptions of the places and lives of the participants, and there is an appealing touch of other-worldliness to the ambiguous but eventually accurate foreshadowing offered by one of the characters. I would have been more satisfied if this character would have been further developed and explained.

In a bit of what seems to be u
Jul 25, 2016 Msjodi777 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook, 2016, july-2016
As both a great fan of Sharyn McCrumb and a history buff, I was a bit disappointed in this book. The plot was excellent, as were the narrators, and the history was spot on, but the story seemed to drag on unnecessarily long - too many little side goings on which could have been left out without impacting anything. Of course, having said that, I really did enjoy the book, if only to learn more about the history of not only my state (well, at the time of this book, Tennessee was still part of NC) ...more
Oct 22, 2013 Val rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sharyn McCrumb is the reigning queen of the Appalachian Ballad Novel, no doubt about it. If you are expecting a continuation of her normal characters you will be disappointed. But if you are a fan of good historical fiction, you will be please by this offering. This book takes place during the American Revolution and tells the mostly untold tale of the battle of King's Mountain in between North and South Carolina. It tells the story of the humans behind the heroes and I was fascinated by it.
The Book Shelf
Jul 26, 2014 The Book Shelf rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really enjoyed the book. I learned a lot about the Battle of King's Mountain and the Over the Mountain Men. Ms. McCrumb always carries out really good research for her books and I find myself wanting to learn more about the subject. I can't wait for her next book and I hope she keeps the Ballad Series going.
Martha Earl
Primarily a fictionalized history of the battle of King's Mountain, I found it readable and engaging enough to finish. The assertion that this battle won the war was overmuch but probably what Sevier thought. The author researched well as usual. It does read like a history book.
I usually like Sharyn McCrumb's novels. This one was boring and stilted, and her main characters were not fleshed out enough for me to really care.
Mar 16, 2017 Deborah rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Had never read McCrumb. Probably won't again, although this novel wasn't terrible. It read more like history than fiction, with almost no suspense despite its setting in the Revolutionary War among mountain men who are preparing for a battle. Nearly the whole story is about them marching around trying to find the enemy. What little happens is told maximizing the exposition and minimizing dramatic interaction. I'm sure it is accurate that soldiering is largely tedium, but novels shouldn't be.
Terelyn Marks
Oct 03, 2016 Terelyn Marks rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
You never really hear much about the southern part of the Revolutionary War. Continental Army, Lafayette, Washington, Bunker Hill, Concord, Valley Forge, the surrender at Yorktown. Maybe a passing mention of the occupation of Charleston and Francis Marion, the Swamp Fox.

Yet, the battle of King's Mountain was said by Jefferson to be the turning point of the war.

The story is slow moving but very well written and quite accurate in terms of the historical details. What lifts it up is the human element of the players in this American Revolutionary war event--the battle of King's Mountain. And while those players were real people, how they feel and think is where author Sharyn McCrumb uses her great imagination and insight to craft a moving story. The conflict between Loyalists and Whigs, between the old world and the new, between neighbors divided by diffe ...more
Ann Gallo
Sep 23, 2016 Ann Gallo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great descriptive narrative about the civil war - sad but an enjoyable read.
Dec 02, 2014 Jessica rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was pleasantly surprised by this book. After reading the inside cover of the book it seemed like there would be a lot of characters to keep up with and it just didn't sound great, but it was really good. Based on the real Revolutionary War battle of King's Mountain, McCrumb does a great job of setting the scene for the battle and what drew these "over mountain men" into the war. A Scottish born British Army Major, Patrick Ferguson, is trying to make a name for himself in the Revolutionary war. ...more
Dec 31, 2013 Ruth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
from McCrumb's website … King's Mountain (Sept. New York: St. Martin’s Press) tells the story of the Revolutionary War battle that changed the course of the war. Told from the points of view of Patriot leader John Sevier and Tory camp follower Virginia Sal, the novel brings to life the people and events in the southern front of the Revolution—a story largely ignored by the history books.

John Sevier had not taken much interest in the American Revolution. Homesteading in the Carolina mountains, Se
Jul 11, 2013 John rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received this book through First Reads. It is a historical novel on the events leading up to the Battle of Kings Mountain, a battle Thomas Jefferson referred to as "the turning point in the American Revolution." All of the characters are based on actual participants. The main character is John Sevier (later the first governor of Tennessee). He is newly married and living in an area of North Carolina that is now east Tennessee. Sevier and the other militia leaders west of the mountains received ...more
Scott Haraburda
Sep 20, 2013 Scott Haraburda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
Goodreads First Reads Giveaway Book.


King's Mountain is a historical fiction, bordering upon creative non-fiction, about the American Revolutionary War, focused upon one battle in the South in 1780, the Battle of Kings Mountain, a decisive battle between the Patriot and Loyalist militias.

The author did a wonderful job bringing the characters to life, as she wrote about the events leading up to and briefly including the battle itself. Much of the book, though,
Lissa Notreallywolf
This has had a very familiar feel as if I read it recently, except that I don't recall the/this story line. I suspect it from reading a book about the American Revolution by Barbara Tuchman, The First Salute which also deals with the American Revolution. Although I felt like I got a pretty good education with regards to American History I have obviously forgotten a lot of what I learned, or simply got the brush over in my education. What I remember from school is the Valley Forge starvation wint ...more
Rita	 Marie
Nov 10, 2013 Rita Marie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have been reading Sharyn McCrumb's books for as long as she has been writing them. So I was delighted to receive an advance review copy of "King's Mountain" thru the FirstReads program, expected to enjoy the book, and did indeed.

The story could have been dull. After all, it focuses on a single battle in the American Revolution, and we all know how that turned out. No suspense here. But the author brings it to life with her portrayal of the characters involved. I particularly liked the alternat
Jo Butler
Dec 10, 2014 Jo Butler rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In 1780 the United States is in danger of losing the Revolutionary War. After defeating George Washington’s army in Pennsylvania, British troops are sent to the Carolinas to split the fledgling country, recruiting affluent Tories to help fight the rebels. The effort begins on the coastal plain, then troops are sent inland. When settlers beyond the Blue Ridge hear that the dreaded generals Patrick Ferguson and “Butcher” Tarleton are bringing their forces westward, they decide not to wait for Redc ...more
Jul 01, 2013 Muld00n rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sharyn-mccrumb
OK, it is now official... Sharyn McCrumb is now my favorite author. Having just finished King's Mountain I am simply amazed at her ability to tell a story and impart such human qualities in each of her characters. I had heard of the Battle of King's Mountain for most of my life and later once I started doing family research, I learned of the pride that people have in having an ancestor that participated in this Revolutionary War battle. Sharyn McCrumb is able to tell this story because she d ...more
Sheila Thonen
I have never read a book by Sharyn McCrumb, but hats off to somebody who can tell a story with great character, not resorting to ribald sexual accounts. I love reading historical fiction accounts of the American Revolutionary War or the Civil War. Sharyn's story includes all the behind the scenes details that are rarely included in Revolutionary War stories. Cattle needed to feed the soldiers and how they slowed down the trip to King's Mountain, a spy who wasn't really a spy, keeping the gun pow ...more
Jan 14, 2014 Stacy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love Sharyn McCrumb. The woman could write a grocery list for a Johnson City trip, and I'd read it. Part of that is because my Daddy was from East Tennessee and these are his people and places. The other part is the sheer beauty and poetry of her work.

This book is different, more straight historical fiction than the others. A few of her previous novels, like those based on Frankie Silver and Tom Dooley, are more straightforward, but this is a recounting of an actual battle that's fairly well k
Jul 04, 2013 Cece rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
I received this book in a *Giveaway* and was excited to read it. I was not familiar with Sharyn McCrumb but reviewed her bio and liked what kind of author she was. This book was written to tell a little known story about how frontiersmen standing up for their land and the battle that resulted from it. I enjoyed the historical piece to this novel, but felt I needed to know more about the characters. At times, I was introduced to too many characters at once and was getting them confused with each ...more
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Sharyn McCrumb is an American writer whose books celebrate the history and folklore of Appalachia. Educated at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Virginia Tech, she has also taught Appalachian studies. She is married to David McCrumb, a corporate environmental director, and has two children, Laura and Spencer.
More about Sharyn McCrumb...

Other Books in the Series

Ballad (1 - 10 of 11 books)
  • If Ever I Return, Pretty Peggy-O (Ballad, #1)
  • The Hangman's Beautiful Daughter (Ballad, #2)
  • She Walks These Hills (Ballad, #3)
  • The Rosewood Casket (Ballad, #4)
  • The Ballad of Frankie Silver (Ballad, #5)
  • The Songcatcher (Ballad, #6)
  • Ghost Riders (Ballad, #7)
  • The Devil Amongst the Lawyers (Ballad, #8)
  • The Ballad of Tom Dooley (Ballad, #9)
  • Prayers the Devil Answers

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