The Prophet and the Witch by James W. George

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. James W. George will be awarding a $20 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

The Background of the Book/Series

Thank you for hosting me on your blog today. I wanted to discuss the background of this book and the book series. “The Prophet and the Witch” is book two of a trilogy, but it stands extremely well on its own. The book has been very well-received, and I am thrilled with the reviews it’s garnered since it was released.

The topic of the book series is King Philip’s War. King Philip’s War was a brutal war fought in New England in the 1670s. It was one of the most catastrophic events in the history of Colonial America, and most of us have never even heard of it. Approximately fifty years after the English colonists celebrated the first Thanksgiving with their Native American allies, relations degenerated to the point that war broke out. It’s a very sad fact that our popular history likes to gloss over.

When I decided to write a historical novel, I wanted to choose a topic that the average reader was not particularly familiar with. In my opinion, historical fiction is at its best when it educates as well as entertains. It seems to me like historical fiction is excessively focusing on four or five eras (the Viking conquests, WWII, the Tudors, the Templar Knights), while there is so much amazing, obscure history that doesn’t receive the attention it deserves. For example, how many of us know the story of the French Huguenot settlement in Florida in the 1560s?

King Philip’s War was a fascinating struggle, and my books feature a variety of intriguing characters, both fictional and historical. Some of the historical figures include America’s first ranger, Captain Benjamin Church, Reverend Increase Mather, famous captive and author Mary Rowlandson, and Governor Josiah Winslow. The book is truly an epic saga. As I like to describe it:

A scheming, Scottish dandy, a beautiful, scarlet-haired, Quaker pacifist, a hulking, heroic son of a carpenter, a disgraced minister wrestling with insanity, an obnoxious, drunken pirate, a captivating young Native American on a spiritual quest, a seafood feast, a passionate wedding night, witchcraft, America’s first army ranger, Frenchmen, lacrosse, lots of holy scripture from the King James Bible, a slow, obstinate, flatulent horse, seventeenth-century-drinking-songs, Mohawks, betrayal, sorrow, joy, and hope. And a brutal, relentless war. All in one book!

Thank you for hosting me today!

Puritans. Quakers. Pirates. Mohawks. Witches. And a brutal war…

If you thought New England was dull in the 1670s, get ready for a history lesson.

In the critically acclaimed “My Father’s Kingdom,” debut author James W. George transported his readers to 1671 New England, and the world of Reverend Israel Brewster. It was a world of faith, virtue, and love, but it was also a world of treachery, hatred, and murder.

Four years later, Brewster is a disgraced outcast, residing in Providence and working as a humble cooper. Despite his best efforts, war could not be averted, and now, “King Philip’s War” has begun.

The rebellion is led by Metacomet, known as “King Philip” to the English colonists. He is the tormented son of the great Massasoit, and leader of the Wampanoag nation. Once the most reliable of Plymouth Colony’s allies, they are now the bitterest of enemies. Meanwhile, Metacomet’s mysterious counselor, Linto, despises this war and will do anything to end the bloodshed.

Meticulously researched, “The Prophet and the Witch” is a tale of hope and brotherhood in the face of evil and violence. It features the remarkable cast of fictional and historical characters from book one, including Josiah Winslow, Linto, Increase Mather, Constance Wilder, and Jeremiah Barron. Additionally, new characters such as America’s first ranger, Captain Benjamin Church, bring this chapter of history to life like never before.

Enjoy an Excerpt

It was a glorious sign from the Almighty. Of that, there could be no doubt.

This was certainly the opinion of Major William Bradford, and few seemed inclined to question the holy assessment of the good major and his magnificent pedigree. The fact that the garrison commander, the aged and venerated James Cudworth, enthusiastically concurred with his famous underling should have eliminated any debate amongst the Puritan faithful.

Bradford, however, would take no chances, and he zealously reinforced his initial assessment. “The will of the Lord, my brothers. The will of the Lord has clearly been made manifest in the night sky. Our cause is just, and our army is righteous.”

The Reverend John Miles felt obliged to speak, perhaps since it was his own Swansea home currently being used as a military garrison. “Yea, verily, hear the word of the Lord, recited for the holy soldiers of the Lord. It is certainly written in the Book of Joel, the sun and the moon will be darkened, and the stars shall no longer shine. And was not the death of the vile and wicked King Herod sanctified by an eclipse of the moon? Certainly, Metacomet is a vile enemy of our Lord and given to evil ways, just as King Herod. Metacomet, this odious King Philip, will indeed pay for his treason.”

Most of the Puritan militia garrisoned in Swansea solemnly bowed their heads. Some were troubled by the sight of a lunar eclipse on this balmy June night. The more learned among them recalled their history, and knew that a partially-eclipsed moon, in accordance with prophecy, rose above Constantinople in 1453. Seven days later, the magnificent city fell to the heathen.

There were also dim mutterings about the Peloponnesian War more than a thousand years ago. Evidently, a lunar eclipse so greatly troubled the Athenians that their war vessels sat shamefully idle in the harbor. Ultimately, their enemy exploited their fear and indecision, and destroyed the fleet.

Others were certain they witnessed the image of a human scalp within the eclipse. Was it the scalp of an Indian, or an Englishman? Was there even a scalp to be seen, or was it a witchcraft-induced hallucination? The quiet ruminations within the garrison were increasingly unsettling.

The sullen deliberations continued, and their confident martial zeal was slowly eroding. Bradford could discern the consternation among his troops, and he continued his exhortation. “The savages have committed a grave sin, and the Lord has made His displeasure clear with His handiwork in the night sky. Be brave, and be of good cheer, for certainly the holy Book of Judges commands us to…”

“Pig titties.”

Never before had one hundred devout Puritan men of high character witnessed such blasphemy in the face of both holy and civil authority. Major Bradford was the second-in-command of the expedition, and the respected son of the deceased and revered Governor William Bradford. Major Bradford, as usual, demonstrated a cautious temperament in the face of adversity.

“Excuse me?”

About the Author:

James W. George is a lover of history and historical fiction. He is a graduate of Boston University and a military veteran. He is currently residing in Virginia with his wife and children.

He published his critically-acclaimed debut novel, My Father’s Kingdom in January 2017. The novel described the prelude to King Philip’s War in New England in the 1670s. The Indie View gave it five stars: “This is high historical drama handled wonderfully…a tale that will fully engage you on every level.”

My Father’s Kingdom is a planned trilogy, and book two, The Prophet and the Witch, was published in September 2017. This is an epic novel that spans the entire conflict of King Philip’s War, and includes such notable historical figures as Josiah Winslow, Increase Mather, Metacomet, Benjamin Church, and Mary Rowlandson. The Literary Titan awarded it five stars and a gold medal for October 2017.

The author is looking forward to book three of the trilogy, and he can be found on Goodreads.

Goodreads

Buy the book at Amazon

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Comments

  1. Thanks for hosting!

  2. Long and Short Reviews says:

    I hadn’t heard of King Philip’s War. Your book sounds quite interesting, though. Like you said, it’s always nice when historical fiction dives into eras that aren’t well known to the average person.

    • Oops, that reply should have come from me. This is what I get for writing a comment first thing in the morning.

  3. Lisa Brown says:

    Congrats on the tour and thanks for the chance to win 🙂

  4. I’ve had lots of fun following the tour for The Prophet and the Witch and I’m looking forward to checking it out! Thanks for sharing all of the great posts along the way 🙂

  5. Rita Wray says:

    I have enjoyed the tour. The book sounds great.

  6. James W. George says:

    Thank you for all the compliments. The audiobook is 2/3 done, and if I may say so myself, I think it is going be amazing. The narrator, Angus Freathy, does a phenomenal job with all the different accents and pronunciations.

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