Two Crowns for America

Katherine Kurtz

Bantam Books. $22.95
(paper $6.50)


Two Crowns for America is a fictional retelling of the American Revolution, speculating on Masonic efforts to engineer the colonies' separation from Hanoverian (but not British) rule. The Masons' initial plan is to restore Charles Edward Stuart (Bonnie Prince Charlie) to the British throne with colonial support or, failing that, to offer him a crown in America. We know how things turn out.

The story has a uneven pace. Kurtz once takes three chapters to describe the events of one evening, but more often she compresses months of planning, military maneuvers, and political negotiation into a single chapter. The book also lacks the enjoyable characterization (both of hero and despicable villain) that Kurtz develops in her other novels. The people here are bland and indistinguishable from one another. The result is a dry history textbook irregularly punctuated with bits of action and dialogue.

Katherine Kurtz is well known for her historical fantasies, most notably the Deryni books. Following her other work, however, Two Crowns for American is disappointing indeed.

 

This review copyright 1996 by Wendy Morris 


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