Forge (Chains #2) by Laurie Halse Anderson

Posted September 29, 2012 by Lisa Mandina in Review / 3 Comments

This is book #7 in my goal for my September is for Sequels Challenge.  Again, it wasn’t on my original list of sequels to fulfill my goal, but it was one I’d been wanting to read for awhile, and I’d checked it out from my school library last May at the end of the school year, and just didn’t get to again until now!  But I wasn’t disappointed at all.
This time the story is told from Curzon’s point of view rather than Isabel, in fact, Isabel isn’t even really in the book in person until after the halfway point.  We find out that when Isabel and Curzon ran away, in order to try to find Isabel’s sister Ruth who had been sold away to a couple far from where they lived, they hadn’t yet made it to find Ruth.  In fact, Isabel got so mad that Curzon hadn’t taken her the right direction, she ran off with the money they’d had.  Never mind the fact that Curzon had actually planned to do this himself, but only in order to try to take care of some things before he came back to her.  Also, Curzon had begun to have feelings about Isabel as more than a friend.  So her running away from him was also a huge punch in the stomach.  Now, both were slaves.  Curzon had served in the army, and had been promised freedom by his owner for serving in the war, so he feels he must be free now.  Isabel, a runaway for sure.

As Curzon is off now running away from his horrible boss Trumball, he happens to save the life of a young soldier named Ebenezer, or Eben for short, from a British soldier.  Eben assumes Curzon must be a soldier too, and so brings him back to camp with him.  And soon Curzon is once again enlisted in the army.  This even helps him out with Trumball, gets him away from him.  There are some people in their regiment that aren’t as accepting of a black soldier.  And are constantly trying to get people to believe that Curzon is a runaway slave.  But for awhile this is not a problem, as Eben’s uncle is in charge of the troop and believes what his nephew says.  For now.  Soon this man, Burns, gets in charge of the troop, and the uncle dies, and now Curzon’s life becomes hell.  They are now in Valley Forge.  It is here that Curzon’s old master, Bellingham shows up, and decides that Curzon is still his property, and even takes him to court, with the help of Burns.  Once Curzon is back as a slave, he finds that Bellingham has also captured Isabel.  And to defeat her habit of running away, he has an iron collar put around her neck, so that everyone will know who she belongs to, and that she is a slave.  Curzon has survived now through a miserable winter with the other soldiers.  And now that Isabel is back, he wants nothing more than to be with her and escape to freedom, even if it means promising her to really get her sister.  But Isabel has changed.  And Curzon must find a way to not only convince her that he is still her friend, more if he can be.  And every time it seems they may have a plan that will work, another obstacle is in their way.
I won’t give more away.  But I will say the obstacles are pretty much all realistic in my opinion.  Not something the author just kept coming up with to extend the story, but they work, and do really make the story better.  Once again I loved reading about the issue of slavery not during the Civil War.  And again it seems so hypocritical that these people were fighting for their freedom from the British, yet still enslaved people because of the color of their skin!  I love that there were some people in the story, one judge included, that saw this ridiculousness.  It still makes me sad that it took people so long to realize this, and that people had to suffer this way.
Okay, I am starting my 8th sequel today, hoping I can at least get it done before bed tomorrow night and can post my final review and challenge sum-up on Monday.

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3 responses to “Forge (Chains #2) by Laurie Halse Anderson

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