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White Seed: The Untold Story of the Lost Colony of Roanoke
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White Seed: The Untold Story of the Lost Colony of Roanoke

3.43  ·  Rating details ·  764 Ratings  ·  107 Reviews
One of the most haunting mysteries in American history - The Lost Colony of Roanoke - comes roaring back to life in White Seed, with a compelling cast of characters. Among them: Maggie Hagger, indentured Irish serving girl, a victim of rape and intimidation, driven to desperate action against a tyrant when all around her have lost hope; Manteo, the Croatoan interpreter for ...more
Paperback, 488 pages
Published December 16th 2009 by Booklocker (first published January 1st 1995)
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Stephen Gallup
Jun 11, 2010 rated it really liked it
I have now read this historical novel two times in as many years, and enjoyed it more the second time through.

The story captivated me, not only because the romanticized tale of the Lost Colony was part of every kid's education when I was growing up in North Carolina in the 60s but also because the version told here is far more likely to be accurate.

There is of course a great deal that we cannot know when dealing with events from the distant past, and especially when the facts have always been cl

I think I’m going to have to abandon this book at close to the halfway mark. It’s not that it’s a particularly bad book, but it’s mediocre, and the problems it has are ones that disconnect me from the story and keep me from caring about the characters or being interested in what will happen.

Firstly, the author has failed to make me sympathise with any of the characters. Take Maggie, for example, one of the main characters. All I know about her is that she’s young, redheaded, and attractive. Yes,
Nov 07, 2011 rated it did not like it
I honestly don't know why I forced myself to continue reading this book. It dragged on way too long towards a conclusion that was not in the least bit surprising. The "untold story of Roanoake" should have remained untold.
Flora Smith
Mar 15, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a fictional account of what could have happened to the lost colony of Roanoke. I really enjoyed this story and found it very hard to put down. Clayton really brought to life the time period as well as the characters and I enjoyed the flow of the story very much. I felt like I was right there with them through the voyage and all of the hardships. I could feel their fear after being left behind as the soldiers started descending into madness and became more savage than the so called savage ...more
Jodie Hill
Aug 24, 2011 rated it really liked it
I downloaded this on my Kindle one day, thinking it was a historical look at the facts regarding the Lost Colony of Roanoke. While I was disappointed to discover it was historical fiction (which seems to be really popular right now) it was very interesting and tense. The writer's take on what happened to the doomed colony, how it's proper society changed due to the circumstances to which they were subjected really seemed plausible. The quote (not in the book) "absolute power corrupts absolutely" ...more
Christie Anderson
Sep 23, 2010 rated it really liked it
I love historical fiction. I thoroughly enjoyed th detail and plausibility of this story. It was well thought out, written and received! I'm glad to have read this. I purchased it on my Kindle and am very thankful to the publishers who sell in that format.
Morgan Janicke
Mar 18, 2011 marked it as to-read
I just found out that i won this wonderful book on the first winners program on Goodrreads!
Laura P
3-1/2 STARS

A fascinating fictional account of what may have happened to the settlers of The Lost Colony of Roanoke. Of course there are many possible scenarios and with the limited evidence available today, we will never know the absolute truth. After reading this book, I immediately had to do some research myself and read up on the history of Roanoke. Clayton's account of the settlers' disappearance is entirely possible. Most likely, the real truth lies somewhere in a mix of the different theor
Jan 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
To my surprise, I ended up liking this book. Title is all important. The untold story of the lost colony of Roanoke implied to me that a secret had been found that unlocked the mystery. However, as I read I realized that this was, as is most historical fiction of course, a story the author imagined based upon historical research. My expectations were dashed, which gave me a sour taste about the reading. Fortunately, I kept reading.

Once I became engrossed in the characters and let myself Imagine
Jun 02, 2011 rated it it was ok
I struggled to stay engaged in this book. It is my kind of book but the characters did not pull me in. Read about 3/4 and so far, have no desire to pick it up again. There are quite a few characters but not one that lets you feel what they are feeling. It was quite a distance into the book before I realized how large this colony actually was -- the way it is written, I thought it was a very small group. Never really had a good feel for the area -- descriptions of the setting are not well develop ...more
May 05, 2011 rated it liked it
I won this book on Good Reads and was eager to get stuck in to it because the lost colony of Roanoke fascinated me. This is a good read with really well drawn characters. I found myself wanting to yell at the book when certain actions are taken and you know this isn't going to end well. I kept returning to the book because I had to know what happened next...I won't reveal the ending but it could have happened that way. A rollicking read that will have you very thankful you live in comfort and ci ...more
Linda Daley
May 23, 2012 rated it liked it
this book was entirel too long! i had a very hard time finishing it and only did because i saw a documentary about the roanoke colony while i was reading it. i got very tired with all the thawarted events for the colonists---there could have benn considerably fewer and still gotten the point across. it seemed contrived for contrivance sake. the characters as written weren't bad. but i could work up no sympathy for governor white. and din't believe for one moment the love story of maggie and mant ...more
Benji Martin
May 06, 2011 rated it liked it
I love the story of the lost colony, and love reading books about it. That's probably why this book got three stars instead of two. The author isn't very good at describing action, and his dialogue isn't the greatest. Plus, the book was probably twice as long as it needed to be. Nevertheless, I love reading about Roanoke and I did enjoy reading it.
Aug 07, 2011 rated it did not like it
Shelves: fiction, e-books
I'm sorry to give Clayton's book only one star since the subject matter is so compelling. Unfortunately, the author's clumsy way with words lets the story down at every turn.

I have seldom read a novel so poorly written. The few I have encountered have been self published efforts which have lacked professional editing and have understandably been turned down by traditional publishing houses.
Erin Germain
This was well-researched and well-written, but I just wasn't able to connect with it. I know the majority of people have very much enjoyed this book, and I certainly wouldn't discourage anyone from reading it, I think that maybe it just wasn't for me.
A decent read but found myself skimming through many parts to get through it. It was interesting, but of course nobody really knows what happened.
Jan 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is an EXCELLENT piece of historical fiction. I highly recommend it and it contains a lot of historical fact mixed with enough fiction to keep you hooked.
Jun 24, 2017 rated it did not like it
Never finished...never will.
Apr 13, 2011 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
At first, I only read the sample of this but I found even just the sample very unrealistic. In the very beginning, main character Maggie, while settling into the ship which will take her to the colony, confesses to a near complete stranger who she'd met no more than a few hours before that the reason she left London was because she was raped there (this is not a spoiler since it is mentioned in the book's summery). It seemed incredibly unrealistic to me that a woman would tell someone she just m ...more
Todd Stockslager
Jun 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
The Lost Colony of Roanoke is one of the great enduring unsolvable mysteries in history. The small English colony, planted on the coast of what is now North Carolina and abandoned in 1585 and replenished in 1587 with a new group of settlers let by John White, was left by White as he returned to England to raise supplies and new recruits. Delayed by world politics (English shipping was harassed and limited by the powerful Spanish Armada), weather, and founder Sir Walter Raleigh's wavering attenti ...more
Jul 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book! The Roanoke story is one of the enduring historical mysteries of early American colonization, and Mr. Clayton weaves a very plausible scenario to resolve it.

This story revolves mainly around a girl named Maggie. She's on the run for a murder she didn't commit and is purchased by the new Governor of Virginia, as an indentured servant intended to care for the Governor's pregnant daughter. The New World is an untamed place and Maggie finds a new home and family among the settler
Jun 18, 2014 rated it liked it
This is an American history story of the lost colony of Roanoke, since some of the history is missing the author filled in with fiction making an interesting story. At times the book read like a history book but still entertaining.

The girl in the story was an indentured slave which was raped but survived and also helped some of the other woman when they were having problems. The story has mysteries, starvation due to lack of food, describes their living conditions, fights between the colony and
Matt Kelland
Mar 12, 2012 rated it liked it
A good, solid historical novel based on what little evidence remains of this famous lost colony. It's an event that's fascinated me for years, and amazingly this is the first novel on the subject I've found. This version of events is extremely plausible and would make a great movie or mini-series.

Although I enjoyed the story a lot, there were some things that irritated me. The Kindle edition was annoyingly full of punctuation mistakes, and I didn't like his habit of using old-fashioned words lik
Oct 27, 2011 rated it really liked it
I LOVE historical fiction novels (oxymoron, right?). The lost colony of Roanoke has always interested me and have wished so many times that we had concrete facts about their disappearance. Well, when I saw this book at my local HPB store I just had to pick it up.

I really enjoyed reading about the events that led up to the abandonment of the colony at Roanoke. The unfortunate set of circumstances were quite, well, unfortunate. The author did a good job of filling in the story after Governor White
Paul Burnette
Jun 17, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This story is untold because what happened to the colonists left on Roanoke Island in the late 1500’s by Sir Walter Raleigh and his investors. Clayton’s fictional account is one very plausible possibility, and though I’m sure there are several other potential explanations, this one is fetching for our imaginations as Maggie, John White, Ananias Dare, Thomas, William Stafford, and other both fictional and historical figures’ lives link together with all the motives and events accounted for in the ...more
Jun 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I am not normally a historical reader my genre is paranormal fiction but some how I ended up with this book and the narration on my kindle. It got my attention from the first chapter. I All through the book I was wanting to know the ending then as I got to the ending I wanted it to go on. It has everything, someone escapes people meeting and forming relationships, new discoveries new hopes, new dreams, discrimination, political plays, new life, death, desperation, madness, and life long changes. ...more
Jul 15, 2014 rated it liked it
The story, itself, never really delved into the realm of the possible. Yes — we know that the colony disappeared. The reasons were probably myriad. A series of errors, misjudgments and poor planning. But this leaves a lot of room for Clayton to develop an intriguing story. But he seemed satisfied to rely on the well known facts for story development. His speculation into what really went on in those last days — the daily life that led up to the problems that ultimately resulted in tragedy — is l ...more
Jun 22, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
this was a pretty good book. It is an excellent and very reasonable "what if" answer to the Roanoake mystery...
The reader had good points and bad - the voices he chose for the people were fine - but this guy really needs to learn how to pronounce English words. His mispronunciations were exceedingly distracting.
Gaol - sounds like Jail... not gowl.
Paradisical sounds like Paradise (ical).. not Par-ade-eye-sicle...
Powhatan - is not Pow Hat an... its Pow-u-tan...
aye... is eye... (as in eye eye cap
May 20, 2012 rated it liked it
I am fascinated by this mystery of the Lost Colony and was hoping this novel would help me decide what really happened to the colonists. That didn't happen. I liked many details in the book, the voyage from England was fascinating, good background material. So much of the book did disappoint me however, the characters didn't come alive, I didn't care about most of them. I couldn't feel their emotions as I was reading. Although the author writes well with great descriptions,seems to know historic ...more
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White Seed bursts onto top lists! 1 15 Jul 27, 2010 08:48AM  
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Paul Clayton is the author of a three-book historical series on the Spanish Conquest of the Floridas ― Calling Crow, Flight of the Crow, and Calling Crow Nation (Putnam/Berkley), and a novel, Carl Melcher Goes to Vietnam (St. Martin’s Press), based on his own experiences. Carl Melcher Goes to Vietnam was a finalist at the Frankfurt eBook Awards, along with works by Joyce Carol Oates (Faithless) an ...more
More about Paul Clayton...