- Novels & Novellas
- The Dragons of the Storm (Vol. 2 of In the Land of Whispers)
The Dragons of the Storm (Vol. 2 of In the Land of Whispers)
Clothbound, sewn, jacketed, 349 pages,6 x 9", 2007, 978-0-929701-81-3
Volume Two of the epic novel In the Land of Whispers
"The Dragons of the Storm is as enthralling as The Weight of Smoke. I think John Smith and Francis Drake would rejoice in George Minkoff's lively re-creation of them." — Edmund Sears Morgan
The Dragons of the Storm continues on directly from The Weight of Smoke. When Powhatan forcibly adopted Captain John Smith into his tribe, he declared that after three wounds the river would speak to him. While fishing in the Chesapeake toward the end of a long expedition, Smith is stabbed by a stingray and falls deathly ill. Because he is set to assume the presidency of Jamestown on their return, the fate of the colony may depend upon his recovery. The old alchemist and mariner, Jonas Profit, doctors this second wound, and to ease Smith's suffering starts to tell of the daring circumnavigation of the world by Francis Drake. So begins the second volume of George Robert Minkoff's visionary epic, In the Land of Whispers, revealing the desperate events in the lives of both Drake and Smith that will lead finally to a permanent settlement for the Elizabethans in the New World. John Smith is followed from the initiations of the first volume into a year of unforeseen trials and their consequence. While the London Company's aristocrats broker the colony's fate with their wealth and power, the colonists struggle an ocean away merely to survive in an unforgiving land. Famine, contagion, mutiny, and war with Powhatan threaten constantly. And the one man who might save Jamestown from itself, John Smith, will have to confront not only the venality of his enemies, and the legacy of his spiritual fathers, but also the mysteries of his destiny.
For Volume 1, The Weight of Smoke, click here.
For Volume 3, The Leaves of Fate, click here.
To read a sample of the text, go to the link below.
Captain John Smith, upon his election as president of the Jamestown Colony in the 1620s, wishes to organize the colonists to become self-sufficient and produce their own food to survive the harsh winters of the Virginia coast. Unfortunately, politics and greed play against his desire to make the colony succeed. While on an exploration and trading expedition to the Chesapeake Bay, the ancient mariner Jonas Profit continues his tale of Sir Francis Drake. Several years earlier, Drake was forced by the Spanish in the Pacific to circumnavigate the globe. He returned home to England a hero, was knighted by Queen Elizabeth, and then was ordered to lead an English squadron of ships to prevent invasion by the fleet known today as the infamous Spanish Armada.
This novel is volume two in the Land of Whispers Trilogy, continuing the saga of both John Smith and Francis Drake. While each man is faced with fighting enemies of the English empire and contends with others who hold wealth and power, both work toward their own visions of a colonial empire.
This is an extraordinarily well-written series of books. I believe that years from now, critics of fine literature will rank these books with the writings of Patrick O’Brian and Dorothy Dunnett as great historical fiction — thoroughly researched and written with exceptional prose. I am looking forward to reading Mr. Minkoff’s final episode about the Land of Whispers.
— Jeff Westerhoff
The Dragons of the Storm is the second book of George Robert Minkoff s projected trilogy about the founding of the Jamestown colony in Virginia in the first decade of the seventeenth century. As in the first volume, The Weight of Smoke, the author intertwines two narratives, one purporting to be the secret diaries of Captain John Smith (he of Pocahontas fame), the other the tale of Sir Francis Drake as told to Smith by Jonas Profit, a member of the Jamestown company who also sailed with Drake a generation earlier.
Where The Weight of Smoke gave more or less equal time to both stories, Francis Drake gets by far the lion s share of attention in Dragons of the Storm, a title that plays on the fact that the Spanish for dragon is draque and Drake, a legendary mariner, privateer, and warrior, was more than any other Englishman of the Elizabethan era the fire-breathing nemesis of Spain's empire both in the New World and closer to home. His adventures make for often thrilling reading.
At the heart of this book are the two towering exploits which made Francis Drake one of the greatest sailors of all time: his three-year circumnavigation of the globe in 1577-80, and his defeat of the Spanish Armada eight years later. The round-the-world voyage combined discovery with plunder; when he and his weary crew finally dropped anchor in Plymouth, the hold of the Golden Hind contained a hoard of Spanish gold worth more than the rest of the Queen s annual income combined. And when Philip II finally launched his long-expected invasion of England, Drake was the guiding light of the defenders; though nominally only second-in-command, he was effectively the admiral of the makeshift, enormously outnumbered fleet that met and vanquished the Spanish in a running battle up the English Channel, thus ensuring England s survival and sowing the seeds of empire. Minkoff brings these stories alive, though readers may sometimes doubt that anyone could, some three decades later, recall events in such detail. The author is occasionally constrained by his framing devices, for the diary conceit and the tales-within-tales don t allow for much exposition on subjects ranging from sixteenth century navigation to the curious mix of private commerce and public diplomacy that characterized Tudor England. In addition, his highly poetical language, while colorful and evocative of the period, is a bit impenetrable at times, though not to the degree of the first volume.
Historically accurate, inventive in its language, and filled with exciting and epochal event, The Dragons of the Storm is a worthy successor to The Weight of Smoke. —Peyton Moss,