Synopsis: Tobacco Wars is a novella about the meeting of two worlds. Set in the early 17th century, it follows the mythical and rollicking adventures of Pocahontas and playwright Ben Jonson – from the inns, alleyways and royal courts of London to pirates, perilous crossings and hostile warriors in the new world. And as worlds are turned upside down and irrevocably altered – a new commodity – tobacco, intoxicates the old world at the same time as an ‘Indian princess’ undertakes her own age of exploration.
First Line: “In the beginning there was only a Bear.”
Random Quote: “Ben Jonson walks behind her, as she lifts her hair out of the way, and he delicately places the string under her laced reticella collar and ties it at the back of her neck.
There is a slight, pleasant scent.
“What is it I smell?” Pochahontas asks.
“It is the scent of marigold, dill and lemon balm, my lady. It is what we call a love potion.”
Review: Clocking in at a slim 114 pages, this novella is a morsel, but a wonderfully chewy one. Mr. Seesequasis stays true to rules of true storytelling by weaving creatures of folk tale and legend with creatures we think of as historical who are just as much folk tale.
The past, the present, and the future elide across each other here, sweeping up, around, and over each other as the story continues. The earth is born, tobacco is brought to the New World, an Indian princess travels the seas to London where she captivates the King’s playwright who follows her to the New World to win her love. Each bit of story is framed in different ways, and each framing illuminates all the different parts that make up a story, a folk tale, a legend, a myth.
Lovely writing and plenty to think about.
FTC Disclosure: From the publisher for the author’s TLC Book Tour
I am pleased to be a part of Mr. Seesequasis’ TLC Book Tour!
Paul Seesequasis is a writer and a journalist. He was the founding editor of the award-winning Aboriginal Voices magazine, and the recipient of a MacLean-Hunter journalist award. His short stories and feature writings have been published in Canada and abroad. Tobacco Wars is his first novella.
Be sure to visit the rest of the stops on the tour to gather opinions:
Pauls Tour Stops
Wednesday, July 13: Reading Lark
Thursday, July 14: Chaotic Compendiums
Monday, July 18: Truth, Beauty, Freedom, and Books
Tuesday, July 19: Jenny Loves to Read
Tuesday, July 26: Lit and Life
Wednesday, July 27: Man of La Book
Thursday, July 28: My Two Blessings
Tuesday, August 2: Bibliosue
Wednesday, August 3: Scandalous Women
Thursday, August 4: Life In Review