Brother is pitted against brother in this Civil War novel, but not in the usual one-fights-for-the-North, one-for-the-South way. Birthright revolves instead around a feud that began when a Vicksburg planter died and left most of the family fortune to the oldest son. The excluded sibling, a rake, sues and hires a killer, whose plot against the older brother fails. Just as war is breaking out, the miscreants flee; they will, of course, be back, and it is a strength of the book’s plot that the developments are credible but not predictable. Meanwhile, civil war is breaking out, and Vicksburg becomes an early target of Union forces who seek to control the Mississippi River. The town’s high position on a bluff over the river makes it easier to defend, and Union General U.S. Grant eventually lays a siege. Rich details about the war and especially the siege help keep the story moving along, which it does to a satisfying finish.
... a Civil War novel that's not just a play on history, but a visual feast of the times.
—William Kerr, author of the best selling Path of the Golden Dragon and Death's Bright Angel
is an excellent tale—a retelling of the Cain and Abel story against the background of the American Civil War. Clay Blount weaves a large-scale plot of revenge, wealth, and romance that also paints a fine picture of wartime Vicksburg. Readers seeking a story rich with adventure and retribution will find it in this novel.
—Philip Williams, author of A Distant Flame
My kind of mystery readers will love Birthright
. And they’ll hope Clay Blount keeps writing and improving our knowledge of the Civil War and what caused it.
Clay Blount is a natural storyteller. In Birthright
he has woven an absorbing Civil War saga of revenge and redemption, moonlight and magnolias and the slavery that supported them, love and loss, and good old-fashioned sex, all set against the bloody backdrop of the siege of Vicksburg.