This novel gives an interesting backstory to the Southern Mountain culture that forms the backdrop to the Ballad series. The author makes the history come alive thru her descriptions of the places and lives of the participants, and there is an appealing touch of other-worldliness to the ambiguous but eventually accurate foreshadowing offered by one of the characters. I would have been more satisfied if this character would have been further developed and explained.
In a bit of what seems to be unintentional irony, the story continually emphasizes the resistance to authority and fierce independence of the Carolina Overmountain Men, while their actual success in resisting the threats of the British commander is totally due to their banding together with their like minded fellow frontiersman in common cause, subverting most of their independence to a set of appointed militia officers who make decisions by discussion leading to common agreement. Pity that their descendants can't seem to emulate this performance in Washington, D.C., in the current era.