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August 9, 2013

I, WALTER by Mike Hartner

I WALTER                                                  5 STARS
by Mike Hartner


I, Walter is an historical adventure that follows Walter Crofter from his beginnings in London, to his end in Northern Spain.

In a country and a time where favor and politics were both deadly, can an honest boy stay true to himself?

Especially given his family background?

I, Walter is the first in a series of books in a saga which will span continents and time to arrive in present day North America. Each in the series will be connected, though that connection may not be obvious for several more books. It's almost like looking at a menorah (sic).. Many lines, seemingly individual, connect to center at different points

 I, WALTER takes you on his  fabulous journey on the high seas and ports of the Elizabethian era. A young boy figures out that he must change things if he wants to live his own life, not like the one he was born into. The book is narrated by Walter Crofter, 67 years of age, who has been stricken with malaria. This was during the sixteenth century in England.

And so the story begins.  He tells how he and other boys who didn't have social standing went to work as soon as they could to earn money for their family and to find food. Walter tries to help his family, but he realizes that he will go down the same road as his father if he doesn't change things.  He thought his father to be lazy. I felt for Walter because he felt that he had been born into the wrong family.  Sometimes I think a lot of us feel that way.  He has to make an important decision.  This must have been hard for a young boy to have to decide to leave his family.  So young and yet so aged. His family is living in London in squalor.  He decides he must leave, just as his older brother had done.  He joins the Royal Merchant Marines in Bristol. It was then that his life began a change. He learns about the stars and the Davis Quadrant. I loved the part about the crusty old salts teaching the boy skills to survive at sea. There were always pirates raiding ships . The encounters with the pirates is narrated so you would feel like gathering your sword and fighting right along.  I could feel the winds whipping the salty sea water on board as the pirates tried to steal the booty.When Walter is on dry land he is being followed by a mysterious man.  Maybe the danger didn't lie in the man but in the love he feels for the unreachable, but lovable Marie..The tales that Walter told of journeys to different lands and his experiences of trading merchandise, such as sugar, tobacco, special spices and wines. I could almost smell the odors of the markets.  Walter is changing, but is he changing into the man he wishes to be?The author tells of the other side of the page.  The trials and suffering as Walter matures.  This book does not lack in imagination or action.  Mr. Hartner wrote vividly.  I almost could feel that I was a bystander during some of the rescues, lies, romance, and adventures.  The book was most enjoyable and I'm looking forward to the next book in the series. It brought an occasional misty eye and then I would smile.  I would definitely recommend this book to anyone.  An interesting adventure into Walter Crofter's life.

I would give this book 5 STARS.

I received a complimentary copy of I, WALTER from the author Mike Hartner for this unbiased review.

Mike Hartner is a husband, father, son, author, geek (ret), and patriot. His love of all things genealogical led him to writing, and writing has now led him to fiction and a large epic saga. He lives in Vancouver, BC with his wife and son.

1 comment:

Mike Hartner said...

Thank you very much for your kind review.