***Spoiler Alert*** Ryan Lone Pine, much like his beloved pet and constant companion raven Zak, isn’t meant to settle down. He is most at home under the stars sleeping on moss in the woods than he is in a comfy bed in a warm house. Like his bird, he is meant to be un-tethered, wild and free.
Ryan has an adventurous life that most young men would dream of… For starters, he was born in Ireland, and then immigrated to Canada. We never learn much about his family, other than about his grandfather who he emulates. Later on in life, Ryan lived a summer with an Algonquin tribe where he was given his last name, and taught by them how to live off the land which comes in handy in the future. He’s hiked 12 miles in the bitter cold after being arrested, and lived to tell the story mostly unharmed, (minus having to self amputate the tip of his finger). He’s smuggled tea and burned down the Sir Robert Peel with the legendary pirate Bill Johnston. He’s fell in love with a young woman named Kate, also Bill Johnston’s daughter. He loses his virginity to a beautiful older woman, interestingly enough, the cousin of the woman he is truly in love with. Last but not least, he fought the British army, faced the horrors of war, and tended to the wounded, for which he was later arrested and nearly hung for. All in 21 years of life!
Ryan, although a traitor and pirate, is a very likable character. Everything he does, he does for his fellow man. Unfortunately for him, he can’t seem to keep himself out of trouble, (which repels the one woman he would settle down for). When he asks her to marry him, she replies “maybe”, as long as he can stay out of the things that may bring them both problems.
Sadly, they do not ever marry, as the Lieutenant-Governor rescinded everyone’s release warrants. Years later Ryan is finally released, only to find out that Kate has accepted someone else’s marriage proposal.
All is not sad because Ryan does what he does best, and he sails out to live another life and undoubtedly to come across new adventures.
What I immediately enjoyed about this story is Ryan’s constant companion Zak the raven. I enjoyed reading about how Zak saved Ryan many a time when enemies approached, and even assisted during the war. I was happy to learn that Zak eventually met a female raven and they made a family together. That was a real heartwarming moment.
While I wished Kate and Ryan to be together, I think in keeping with his character it was best that Ryan Lone Pine stayed solitary. At least Zak the raven found love. 🙂
Counter Currents by Shaun J. McLaughlin is a silver medal award winning historical fiction about a young man and his adventures before, during, and after the Patriot War. I enjoyed this story and I believe this novel would be perfect for an adolescent boy with a taste for adventure, and war fiction fans alike. There is some adult content, but not throughout to the point that it would be inappropriate for a boy aged 12 up to read.
So if you are interested in the Patriot war, pirates, smugglers, and lots of misadventure, this may be the book for you!
***I was provided with an E-Book of Counter Currents by the Author for a fair and honest review.