Misfit's Reviews > Roanoke Hundred

Roanoke Hundred by Inglis Fletcher
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Apr 01, 12

bookshelves: colonial-america, tacoma-book-center, historical-fiction, 2012-mt-tbr-challenge
Read from January 29 to March 31, 2012 — I own a copy

My cover, same ISBN#.




On the Island of Roanoke the green vines of the grape and the wicked brambles twined riotously over the falling dwellings of the First Colony. Bushes grew thick and rank along the broken palisades.

Roanoke Hundred is the first in a fairly lengthy series called the Carolina Chronicles. Story info and series order on these books is rather sparse, and some reader sites have the series order listed by publication date, which isn't necessarily the chronological order. My copy of Roanoke Hundred clearly says "Book 1", with books 2-6 being listed on the inside flap as Bennett's Welcome, Men of Albermarle, Lusty Wind for Carolina, Raleigh's Eden and Toll of the Brave. The nice folks at Goodreads have them listed in chronological order, but that list has twelve books! It looks like book two takes place about 100 years after the end of Roanoke Island, so I'm not sure yet if there's any character follow-up from Roanoke Hundred, or if each book stands alone. Are you confused? I am, but I will be tackling these as I can get my hands on them and try to resolve the mystery once and for all.

Anyhoo, this book is about the second expedition to the new world organized by Sir Walter Raleigh in 1585 and led by Sir Richard Grenville. Despite the title, the first third of the book is set in England, as Raleigh gathers support and funds for his expedition, preparing for the voyage, as well as learning more about Sir Richard's home and family in Cornwall. Several men from Sir Richard's household will be going, including Colin, a young herd-boy who bears a rather strong resemblance to the Grenville men (wrong side of the blanket, perhaps?). The middle third of the book details the voyage to Roanoke (including run ins with the Spanish), and events when they arrived. Sir Richard eventually takes his fleet home with the promise to return with more supplies the next year, and leaves his hundred men behind, including Colin. Colin is then the focus of the book as we see the difficulties he and his companions face in a new and dangerous land, especially hindered as they were by the man left in charge - Ralph Lane. As Fletcher portrays him, Lane is less interested in storing supplies for the winter and building shelter, and more interested in grabbing what wealth he can get his hands on. He was also pretty darned good at antagonizing the Indians, which didn't help matters any.

While there is a romantic storyline with young Colin and Grenville's ward Thomasine, you should know that the book blurb and covers are very misleading - there were no women on that expedition.

I don't want my squires thinking of women. They must have their minds free to think of nothing but the land of Virginia. Let Virginia be their mistress.

All in all I did enjoy this book, although it is a bit dry and heavy on the details at times, plus I'm not overly fond of battles at sea. I would read a small chunk of it and then put it down for a few days to read other books and then come back to it. Despite those quibbles, I would definitely recommend it to those interested in early American history.
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Reading Progress

01/29/2012 page 15
3.01% "A secret meeting with a distinguished visitor or two.

"
01/29/2012 page 54
10.82% "Sir Richard Grenville

"
01/30/2012 page 108
21.64% "I don't want my squires thinking of women. They must have their minds free to think of nothing but the land of Virginia. Let Virginia be their mistress." 2 comments
02/23/2012 page 208
42.0% 2 comments
03/11/2012 page 250
50.0% ""
03/12/2012 page 269
54.0% "Suppose a village starves because we burned the corn?"
show 5 hidden updates…

Comments (showing 1-15 of 15) (15 new)

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message 1: by Sherron (new) - added it

Sherron I have this series and the book order is:
Roanoke Hundred
Bennett's Welcome
Men of Albemarle
Lusty Wind for Carolina
Raleigh's Eden
Toil of the Brave


Misfit Thank you. I think there's been some series fixing already, but I'll look at it closer. These look promising.


message 3: by Sherron (new) - added it

Sherron I've had them for a while, I just need to start. So little time


message 4: by Hannah (last edited Dec 10, 2011 06:25PM) (new)

Hannah Misfit wrote: "Thank you. I think there's been some series fixing already, but I'll look at it closer. These look promising."

I've got all of these in the series as well, and have read four of them. This is a great series, especially for a native Tarheel like myself.

Chronological listing is as Sherron has listed. I've never understood why Bantam showed Roanoke Hundred as #5 since by time period (1500's), it is the earliest by over 100 years.


Misfit I think I've got it fixed now. The series order was edited, but the titles still had xxx series #x and it was really getting confusing.

@ Sherron, I know that feeling and every day/week brings more damned discoveries. I love these older gems.


message 6: by Laura (new)

Laura Misfit, remember that the edition of these series are only updated weekly.


message 7: by CLM (new) - rated it 4 stars

CLM I am fond of this author but the pace is very slow and there are so many characters it is hard to recall them between books. However, my library growing up owned nearly every one so I read every one. I recall her being very fascinated by pirates.


message 8: by Tish (last edited Apr 01, 2012 11:05AM) (new)

Tish I own this, but don't think I've read it. I'll have to give it a try.


Karla (Mossy Love Grotto) I hope they can be read as standalones with reacquainting recaps of the relevant characters because I think I only have a couple and I'm not compelled to get all of them.


Misfit I'll let you know when I get further. From the way this ends, and where the next book picks up (at least a hundred years), any overlap with be subsequent generations. I've requested the second book from PBS.


message 11: by Dorcas (new) - added it

Dorcas Oh your cover is so NICE!!! I just picked up book 2 at a "fill a bag for a buck" sale at a used book sale. I was wondering if I had to read book 1 first but it looks like they can be stand alone, huh?


Misfit Dorcas wrote: "Oh your cover is so NICE!!! I just picked up book 2 at a "fill a bag for a buck" sale at a used book sale. I was wondering if I had to read book 1 first but it looks like they can be stand alone, huh?"

I still have to read book #2, but my guess is it will stand alone. This was a complete story.

Awesome cover I had, wasn't it?


message 13: by Hana (new)

Hana That ship is in major trouble in about ten seconds if they don't take in some canvas--talk about the 'impervious horrors of the leeward shore'!!

But very romantic apart from the little fact that her scarf is blowing Eastward, while the ship seems to be experiencing a full South/Southwest gale. :D


Misfit Hana wrote: "That ship is in major trouble in about ten seconds if they don't take in some canvas--talk about the 'impervious horrors of the leeward shore'!!

But very romantic apart from the little fact that h..."


Lol.


message 15: by Dorcas (new) - added it

Dorcas Lol Trust you to notice that, Hana!


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