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Publisher's Summary

As the quiet cycle of life in the forested realm of the Skarure is shattered by the outbreak of war between the British and Colonial forces, the old alliances of the Haudenosaunee Confederation are pulled in divergent directions, pitting brother against brother, even within the clans.

Thrust into the middle of this maelstrom, young Joseph Killeen will rely upon the guidance of an unexpected community to decide not only what is right and wrong, but ultimately, who he even is.

©2013 Lars D. H. Hedbor (P)2020 Lars D. H. Hedbor

What listeners say about The Smoke (Tales From a Revolution - New-York)

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Good Historical Fiction

4/5 Stars: The Smoke by Lars D. H. Hedbor
Narrated by Shamaan Casey
Run Time 4 hrs and 54 mins

Summary:
A young native American and a young Colonial man get caught up in the devastating parts of the Revolutionary War.

Additional Comments:
- Not sure what the title has to do with the book, but it’s a good series.
- Shamaan Casey has a nice, rich, deep voice that suits the series well. He has enough variation to separate a few male voices and the main female voice.
- Though historical fiction, the story is realistic enough.
- Clean read.
- I like how the series doesn’t always go for the happily ever after ending.

Conclusion:
Strong entry in a good historical fiction series.

2 people found this helpful

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As always. Amazing!

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The entire series is great. This book was New York, with the Tuscarora Tribes in Upstate. NY. I live in the area of the Sullivan-Clinton Expedition. Actually. the Final Battles were in my Backyard... as the Newtown Battlefield and Chemung River are a stone's throw from my home. I understand much of this Story. I was steeped on this History my entire life. I understand the Revolution. as well as the grievous ways that the Iroquois Confederation adjusted. This was very well written, well researched for a historical fiction and the Narrator is very good. I can not wait for more! This book was offered free of charge , with the agreement of a fair review... Thank You!

2 people found this helpful

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8/5! Great addition to learning history

This is the sixth book I’ve read/listened to by this author and I would listen to anything he writes. I think all of his books are an excellent companion to our older children’s history education. All of them give an expansive perspective upon events and always makes me want to learn more. I often find myself researching the people and events after listening to one of his books.
I love his historical insight and unique angle he approaches with each story. It’s not the typical characters of the historical event that are the highlight in his books...it’s the average person, the common people, those that were trying to survive and lead a normal life amongst these tumultuous events. This book is no different. Many people got caught up in and swept away during major events. This one tells the story of some of our native Indians and brings a bit of insight into what they experienced and how they were affected. We get this glimpse through the eyes of a soldier who gets taken in by one of these tribes.

This is the seventh book I’ve listened to by this narrator ( Shamaan Casey ) and I would always listen to another. I like the tone of his voice. He does well differentiating the characters and brings out the emotion in the story.

There are no explicit sex scenes, excessive violence or swearing.

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and voluntarily left this unbiased review.
Please feel free to comment on whether you found my review helpful.

2 people found this helpful

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Unexpected Revolutionary Perspective

This was another great audio book on the American Revolution by Lars Hedbor, one of my top choices from the several to which I have listened. The Native American perspective was outstanding, with interesting and challenging ties to the American militia. The cultural setting and details, even language differentiation, really caught me up in the story. It is so easy to get caught up in these stories, but the unique outlook had me want to know more about the characters from very early in the story. Shamaan Casey was exceptional in his narration, with challenging multicultural dialog performed in an engaging, easy manner. This is a must listen.

2 people found this helpful

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Another fun and educational listen

“The Smoke” is the third audiobook in the wonderfully written historic “Tales from the Revolution” series by Lars D. H. Hedbor. The book’s Audible narration was professionally performed by Shamaan Casey; who has narrated the previous books in the series as well. This series of audiobooks place the listener in various locations around the United States along with the situations uniquely taking place during that period in the Revolutionary war; 1775 through 1783. This audiobook drops the listener in to the more rural areas of New York state where there are still plenty of woods, homesteading, British troops and Native Americans. I consider this series to be more classified as edutainment (education and entertainment) because there is a fair amount to be learned from the story while the author includes elements of action and adventure found in a piece of fiction. If you are a person who likes to learn while listening to an audiobook, I think you will find this series rather enjoyable.

One of the aspects I have gleaned from each of the audiobooks in the series, including this one, is just how harsh and difficult living during this period would have been. Many of the necessities we take for granted today were not even imagined or possible during this period of history. Add to all of this a harsh and unforgiving New England winter and one begins to see the overall gravity of the situation people were facing, and this is not even accounting for war. Often, one hoped simply to survive to see the next day, and for many, sadly, it never came. The necessity of using hardtack (a simple long-lasting bland biscuit) to provide sustenance and calories when other food was scarce. The requirement of bone saws to address the issues around gangrene and the many other ailments one would face. The author did an excellent job helping me see this harsh way of living as I listened. Yet, neither the author nor the characters in the story complained about the life they were given.

The audiobook is geared toward the early teen listener (11-13). Yet, I found it well-crafted and enjoyable for older audiences as well. Many chapters of the book are spent going between the Colonials and their goals while others were focused from the perspective of the local Native American tribes. This trade-off worked well until the two groups and their situations began to blend towards a central goal. Here, chapters often blended the views of both parties and I thought it was done rather well. I also found that the addition of humor also brought some lightless to a story that could have been too gloomy. I often found myself smiling or laughing at the many analogies and metaphors the Native Americans contributed.

I found the research used for the audiobook to be what one would expect from a piece of good historic fiction. The author even included a closing chapter giving the listener some additional background on the place, people, and situation from which the story was crafted. What I did find interesting were the views of both people groups compared to the more historic norms. The Native Americans were not as much savages as often portrayed and in some cases were even welcomed when assisting the United States with the war. I was able to learn about how matriarchal many of the Native American societies were along with a few of their religious practices. Not only this, but we also see that these people group were like many others who loved, fought, and even had time for some needed fun. Ball games and other related sports were covered in this book.

Even though the book is a bit short in length (shy of five hours), there was quite a bit packed in making it feel much larger. Based on the other books in the series, I felt this one spanned a bit more time and for me it was harder to get my head around this point until a ways in. Once I caught on, it was much easier going forward. Birthing a baby, learning a new language, and a few other events seemed to occur rather quickly. But, because of this time span, the author was able to weave in some events of happiness, sadness and even mourning. The span in time also permitted the author to build on friendships, brotherly love along with the bonds created by those facing battle. What made this all the more difficult was that each of the groups involved in our story leveraged means of deception to fool the other.

The audiobooks narration was clean, crisp, deep and rich with atmosphere. Mr. Casey reads at a steady pace which aligns with most listeners abilities. The audio itself was clean of any defects or audio artifacts (pops, clicks, background noise, or swallows). I have to give credit as the book contains many difficult names to pronounce and I felt that the narrator did an exceptional job here as well. The ability to switch between conversing characters also was done flawlessly by the narrator while listening. Mr. Casey adds a level of depth and complexity to the book’s characters and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

For parents and younger readers, like with the other books in this series, there was no use of vulgar language or mature material. There is some light graphic violence, however this is not more than what one would expect from a historically accurate tale. I would recommend this book and the series to readers interested in the United Stated Revolution time period. On audible, the book is classified as for teens aged 11-13. As I said earlier, it can be enjoyed by all.

In summary, if you are a history buff or someone that likes to learn new things while being taken on an adventure, I would recommend this book and the series. The writing is not overly complex, the story is enjoyable and engaging, and the narration is solid. Even though it is a bit short, one comes away with learning about actual history and having fun doing it.

2 people found this helpful

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Interesting Historical Fiction

I received this book for free. I am voluntarily posting this review and any opinion expressed herein are my own.

This is the third book in the Tales from a Revolution series. Each book is a standalone book with no cliffhanger ending. The series can be read in any order. Each book focuses on a specific state, a few characters, and the effect of the American Revolutionary War. I have read other books in this series [in no particular order] and would recommend them.

This book is a fictionalized account of the effects of The American Revolutionary War on the Iroquois Confederacy (an alliance of five Indian nations), and more specifically, the Tuscarora tribe within that alliance in New York who were trying to stay neutral but initially allied themselves with the British and then with the Patriots. I was particularly captivated by this tale as I grew up in upstate New York and while I do remember touching upon the Iroquois in my high school history class, we certainly did not spend a lot of time on the topic. I found the exploration of the Iroquois culture and their politics to be fascinating. The integration of Joseph, a Patriot soldier, into the tribe was interesting, however, a bit fast-paced, in my opinion, to be completely credible. For example, Joseph very quickly adapts to the Indian culture - to the point of dreaming in the Iroquois language and having trouble remembering the English language in a few short months. Additionally, without a lot of thought [decided in mere moments], Joseph submits to tattooing his face - which would clearly ostracize him from his own culture and certainly cause a rift with his family/friends. However, overall, I found this story to be well-written and well-researched.

The narrator, Shamaan Casey, is the narrator for the entire series. He has a deep baritone pleasant voice. He does a great job with the various characters and emotions of this story

1 person found this helpful

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Native American Tale of the Revolution

I have read several books from this series and I really like Lars Hedbor's writing style. He does his work researching and then puts it all together in a very entertaining way that transports you back into that time period. This one centers around a Native American tribe in New York. I love how he was able to show both sides - the natives that wanted war and the tribes that wanted peace. This particular story was a bit slower paced, but not in a bad way, it simply wasn't all non-stop war and action. You get to know the tribe and see how they interacted with the Colonists and among their own people. Of course there are battles and attacks so there is some violence surrounding those and then the dealing with wound care afterwards. I mention this to give parents a heads up there is some graphic violence but not overly stated. Beyond that it's a very clean, well written story that describes the characters and details so well that you can easily picture it. I would say it's geared for 4-5th grade readers on up to adults. I highly recommend this entire series for those who love good historical fiction books.

I really enjoy listening to Shamaan Casey. He has a voice that reminds me a bit of James Earl Jones with a similar deep richness that is both a bit hypnotic and a lot of fun to listen to.

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

1 person found this helpful

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The Smoke

I enjoyed this ,book 3,of Tales of the Revolution.We are taken into the Tuscorra tribe where they adopt a man to take the place of a lost warrior.It is a wonderful story.Shamaan Casey was the perfect narrator.I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

1 person found this helpful

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Thought-Provoking

The first thing that I noticed (and one of the many reasons that I love audiobooks) was the there were a lot of names, places, and things within The Smoke that I wouldn’t have known how to pronounce. I would have made a completely wrong guess and it would have tripped me up throughout reading. While listening to The Smoke, Casey does all of the prep work, so that I’m able to just listen to the book the way that Hedbor wanted it to be read. It really takes a book and series like this and moves it to another level.

The story itself tells of the Six Nations Confederacy’s ties and interactions with the early American Colonial Settlers. Hedbor is able to tell a story within a story and doesn’t need to resort back to stereotypes or really even period-specific racism. He’s able to write with an artistic ability that really stands out. He’s a little “flowery” compared to other authors that I typically read (giving lots of explanation of sounds, thoughts, and feelings), but this is his writing style and within the confines of usually heavy and over-thought-out historical fiction pieces – it’s welcome.

The Smoke was an interesting and thought-provoking read. I wanted to know more about the Six Nations Conferderacy, so I googled it upon finishing this. I wanted to know more about the specific things that Hedbor writes about, so I looked them up. A historical fiction story that makes someone want to seek out more history is a winner in my book.

Overally, I enjoyed this one. It didn’t drag on like some books like these can. Add in the narration by Casey and you have a winner. His voice is so enthralling, especially in stories like these. He’s able to tell this story and have me listening with baited breath. He’s able to take Hedbor’s words and turn them into something more. I’ve enjoyed every book in this series I’ve listened to, and I hope that there are more. It takes real situations that happened in our history and turns them into realistic stories.

1 person found this helpful

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Another Enjoyable Book

History is a wonderful thing and a necessary thing to learn so was a society do not end up repeating our past mistakes. This author teaches us history with a story, which makes it so much easier to learn and very entertaining. This author writes some really great books. He then has picked an amazing narrator to complete the story. I could listen to him all day everyday. His narration has just enough emotion and inflection that the characters really come to life. Great book!

1 person found this helpful

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Profile Image for Kate @MLHearingThings
  • Kate @MLHearingThings
  • 02-24-20

Another fascinating tale from the Revolution

I have enjoyed previous audiobooks in Hedbor's series and was keen to learn a little more about the period. In this tale from the Revolution, we glimpse the impact of the fighting on the Native American peoples. As with the rest of the series, I was glad that Hedbor did not make this a novel in which things are black and white, with a 'right' side and a 'wrong' one, and most specifically that he did not pit the indigenous population as a whole against the Rebels. Allowing for a more nuanced story, in which the local tribes become embroiled in the affairs of both sides, is important in ensuring that their tale does not generalise or dismiss any of the characters as part of a broad, homogenised group. Neither the soldiers nor the tribesmen are one-dimensional, with each capable of as much harm as joy as they fight to secure the future of their kin. Ultimately, The Smoke challenges the ways those men classify 'kin' and proves that even those from very different worlds can become brothers in arms.

The narrator, Shamaan Casey, did another great job with this audiobook. I love the depth and resonance to his voice, which gives the stories a gravitas that helps the historical setting feel as though it is telling the true stories of the characters we meet in Hedbor's novels. His performance always holds my attention and is quite relaxing to listen to, even when he is describing some of the Revolution's hardest times.

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys stories from the Revolutionary era, or those - like me - who are looking for a gentle introduction to the times that covers the many facets of the war and its impact, without specific bias.

*I received this audiobook free of charge in the hope of an honest, unbiased review.