Cover image for The fires of pride : a novel of the Civil War
The fires of pride : a novel of the Civil War
Trotter, William R., 1943-
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Publication Information:
New York : Carroll & Graf, [2003]

Physical Description:
xvi, 555 pages : illustrations, maps ; 25 cm
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Concluding his Civil War saga begun in The Sands of Pride, William Trotter takes up the stories of his stunning array of characters-Union and Confederate, fictional and historic-in the closing days of July 1863. The South has lost at Gettysburg, the tide of history has shifted, and the fortunes of the Rebel side have begun, inexorably, to decline. Interwoven lives carry readers to the apocalyptic Union assault on Fort Fisher (the "Alamo of the Confederacy") in early January 1865-the largest amphibious operation in U. S. Navy history until the invasion of Guadalcanal in 1942. Featuring the brief but glorious career of the mighty ironclad ram, the CSS Hatteras, which finally emerged to challenge the Union Navy, The Fires of Pride is a richly textured, sweepingly dramatic epic, a towering work that combines deep scholarship with an intensely human understanding of the men and women of the period. Taken together, The Sands of Pride and The Fires of Pride constitute a mighty work of Civil War fiction worthy to stand on the same shelf with Gone with the Wind and The Killer Angels.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Trotter continues his epic novelization of the Civil War set primarily along the windswept coast of North Carolina. As in the Sands of Pride (2002) , most of the action takes place in and around the pivotal port city of Wilmington, North Carolina. By 1863 Union strategists realized that Fort Fisher, the immense fortress ingeniously constructed primarily of sand that successfully shielded scores of blockade-runners on their daring forays in and out of Wilmington, must be captured and destroyed. That Union forces did not succeed in shutting down this fort until the early days of 1865 was a source of enormous Confederate pride. Interweaving both historical and fictional characters, Trotter paints a portrait of a city and a nation teetering on the brink of disaster. In a world turned upside down, traditional values are replaced by an emphasis on profit, passion, and survival. Superlative battle action combines with an array of interconnected personal tales to provide a crackerjack Civil War adventure sure to be bolstered by the recent release of the film version of Cold Mountain (1997).--Margaret Flanagan Copyright 2004 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

Trotter concludes his epic tale of Civil War North Carolina with a sequel as splendid as its predecessor, The Sands of Pride (2002). The large cast of characters ranges from fearless Union naval officer William Cushing, who brings home the body of his brother killed at Gettysburg at the book's start, to the inept Confederate Gen. Braxton Bragg, for whose fumbling defense of Wilmington, N.C., at war's end Trotter provides a plausible explanation. The author does an excellent job of keeping up interest between battles: sexually liberated Largo Landau, the daughter of a prominent Wilmington merchant, prepares Mary Harper Sloane, the daughter of a rich South Carolina rice planter, for the homecoming of her erring privateer husband by arranging erotic lessons, while Col. William Lamb's Fort Fisher garrison and William Cushing's seaborne gunners join forces to protect sea-turtle hatchlings. The tone darkens rapidly with the racial massacre at Faison's Grove and the murder of Mary's father by bushwhackers. After the Confederate ironclad Hatteras (the historical Albemarle renamed and somewhat enlarged) emerges from her swamp lair, the pace quickens and the novel marches to a thundering climax with the bloody and magnificently depicted fall of Fort Fisher. The same combination of superb research, compelling characters and dry wit that enthralled readers of previous installments will do so again. (Mar. 9) Forecast: While this Civil War epic will likely appeal primarily to Civil War buffs, booksellers might also profitably recommend it to readers of general historical fiction. Of note: Trotter's three-volume history of the Civil War in North Carolina was a source for Cold Mountain. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved