by Douglas Bond
2016 / 303 pages
Even Canadians have probably heard of Paul Revere’s daring midnight ride to Lexington, Massachusetts…but have you heard of the “Paul Revere of the Puget Sound”? That’s who we meet in Douglas Bond’s book Battle for Seattle, where we experience the conflict between the American settlers and the Native American tribes of the Puget Sound, which is an inlet off the Pacific Ocean in northwest Washington State. This historical fiction follows the life of William “Bill” Tidd, one of the early settlers of area.
Although some local Native tribes are friendly towards Tidd and the others settlers, not all are as amiable. Tidd begins hearing rumors of a coming war between settlers and Natives. In an attempt to stop this war before it can begin, Tidd joins up with a local group called the Eaton Rangers who are tasked with capturing the warring Native chief. After being betrayed by one of the Rangers and ambushed by Natives, Tidd must ride through danger to ask for backup, beginning his role as a dispatch rider in the Puget Sound Indian War. Although Tidd had his fair share of daring rides during the war, the title of the “Paul Revere of the Puget Sound” does not fall to him. I’m not going to give it away; you’ll have to read Bond’s book to find out who really holds the title.
The reader is able to follow Tidd in more than his adventures as a dispatch rider, but also in his internal struggle with faith. After the deaths of his parents, Tidd slammed the door on God, but due to the evangelism of some close friends, we see that door starting to creak open.
Although Bond does a terrific job weaving a cohesive narrative of William Tidd, it must be noted that this is a fictional novel and not a history. The major events are true but much of the narrative and some characters have been imagined to allow this story to be told.