Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Megiddo's Shadow (Y.A. Challenge #10)

I haven't read a book about World War I for years. Bodie Thoene wrote some which I liked but they were mostly about adults. Arthur Slade's book tells the story of Edward Bathe, a sixteen year old Canadian boy who enlists in the English military after his old brother was killed in France. Edward eventually becomes a cavalryman and travels to Palestine with his horse Buke to fight the Turks. During his training in England he met Emily, a nurse who he writes to as the war progresses and with whom he falls in love.

Reading the part of the book about his time in Palestine was interesting to me for more than just the story, I lived there for a few months back in 2000. The setting is described is very similar to what I remember...the area it seems hasn't changed all that much.

Edward seems to encompass all that soldiers can be. He enlists with a very proud sense of being on the side of right but the brutality and horror of war affect him. Through his relationships with his friends and enemies, many of the different personalities that seem to come out in truly trying times become apparent. War is a hard thing to read about but Slade was able to balance the war, romance, friendship, and family in Edward's story.

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