Warrior on the Western Waters: Dangerous Loyalties Book Three by Phyllis A. Still

[dropcap]The [/dropcap]Dangerous Loyalties book series is now up to three installments with the release of Warrior on the Western Waters*. I have been following this series since it’s inception when I was tasked with reviewing it for a U.S. book review website that is now closed. The series deals with the Shirley family, who are American patriots trying to live a peaceful life without the interference of the British Crown. The series begins in the years leading up to the revolution of 1776. I enjoyed reading Books One (Defiance on Indian Creek) & Two (Fleeing the Shadows), and since it has been some time since Fleeing the Shadows was published, I was glad to hear that Book Three was coming.

SPOILER ALERT! You may want to skip to the conclusion below.

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The year is 1775 and Mary Shirley and her family are now in Boonesborough, Kentucky. Mary and her father are recuperating from being ambushed by Indian warriors at the end of Book Two. All is not going well with the young settlement. There is only a blockhouse for safety from attack, while there should be palisades erected by now. This alone is enough to make Mary feel insecure. Then, she overhears a plot to have the settlement attacked by natives friendly to the Loyalists. No one believes her, but she knows too much and is soon abducted and taken to a Shawnee village where the plan is to hold her hostage until she is bought or traded for arms and rum. Mary’s courage amongst the Shawnee win her some respect, and she re-encounters Whisper from a previous adventure. Whisper takes her under her wing and teaches her the language and the Shawnee way of life. Desperately missing her family and concerned for their safety, Mary thinks about escaping, but she is closely watched by the Shawnee. Then, faced with an attempted assault by the evil Isaiah Brown, she escapes and tries to make her way back to Boonesborough before she can be caught by the Shawnee again.

Isaiah’s fowl inebriated voice slurred, “Where you goin’?” He reached around my waist with one arm and grabbed the back of my neck, pulling me against his body and toward his disgusting mouth before I jabbed my thumb in his eye. He released me, cursing God’s name. I side-kicked his wooden leg. He stumbled to the ground. “Damnation. Wildcat come ’ere. I’m goin’ have you. Dead or ’live.” He rose to one leg, trying to balance. I whipped out my knife and fumed, “I’m going to have you—dead.”


The Dangerous Loyalties series may be considered “Young Adult” reading, but there’s plenty here for adults to enjoy, too. Especially if you like good adventure stories with a historical aspect to it. Mary Shirley was an actual person, and Ms. Still has developed some good fiction around her life. My only quibble with the story was a profusion of occasions when Mary needed to find a place to pee or her propensity to vomit when a situation became too stressful. Otherwise, Mary is a fine role model for courage, love of family and love of God. There are more books to come in this series (and there’s a Canadian connection too, I’m told), and I greatly look forward to reading them. I review very few American writers, but this is a particularly good historical fiction series that all can enjoy. It would help to start reading this series from the beginning, as each story begins where the last left off. Warrior on the Western Waters is a Miramichi Reader “Pick“!

*This review was based on an Advance Reading Copy supplied by the author in return for a fair, independent review. Warrior on the Western Waters will be released on January 28, 2020.

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James M. Fisher is the Founding Editor of The Miramichi Reader. He began TMR in 2015, realizing that there was a genuine need for more book reviews of Canadian literature. It has since become Canada’s best-regarded source for the finest in new literary releases. James has been interviewed about TMR on CBC Radio and other media sites. He works as a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Technologist and lives in Miramichi, New Brunswick with his wife Diane, their tabby cat Eddie, and Buster the Red Merle Border Collie.