Summary and book reviews of That Anvil of Our Souls by David Poyer

That Anvil of Our Souls

A Novel of the Monitor and the Merrimack

by David Poyer

That Anvil of Our Souls
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Jun 2005, 438 pages
    Paperback:
    Jul 2006, 432 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
BookBrowse Review Team

Buy This Book

About this Book

Book Summary

In the third volume of David Poyer's monumental Civil War at Sea cycle, North meets South in the momentous first battle between ironclads.

We first met Elisha Eaker, Theodorus Hubbard, Araminta Van Velsor, Dr. Alphaeus Steele, Calpurnius Hanks, and Ker and Catherine Claiborne in Fire on the Waters, witnessing their unwilling but inescapable choosing of sides as America split into two nations. Then, in A Country of Our Own, Ker took the war to the North, as captain of the fastest, most heavily armed Confederate commerce raider ever to put to sea.

Now, That Anvil of Our Souls takes us into the turrets and casemates of the most decisive sea engagement of the Civil War. In New York, Theo is the engineer for a revolutionary new "fighting machine" called the Monitor, and eager to become a man of means...so eager, a bribe compromises his integrity. In Norfolk, Catherine faces her husband's impending hanging for piracy, the death of their baby daughter, and the bitter realities of enemy occupation.

In Richmond, Lt. Lomax Minter is ordered to find a spy who threatens the South's ultimate weapon: a tremendous ironclad named Virginia, rebuilt from a sunken wreck in a race against time. While the aging Dr. Steele witnesses the horrors that are the aftermath of glory; and gun-captain Hanks, escaped slave, struggles with the demons of his past and the twin snakes of "freedom."

Poyer's vivid characters join with meticulously researched historic figures to re-create the bloodiest conflict in American history -- one whose reverberations will endure as long as freedom, equality, and home have different meanings in proud human hearts.

Chapter One

A Residence on Fifth · Introduction to Personages of Importance · The Southern Bug-bear · Advice from Men of Wealth and Influence · At the Delamater Ironworks · 95 Franklin Street · Impromptu Examination in Gearing Design · Rejection of a Long-Cherished Scroll

Mr.Theodorus Hubbard. Responding to the invitation of Mr. Micah Eaker. Theo gave the butler his card, stripping off his dripping mackintosh, glancing resentfully around the interior of 372 Fifth Avenue, New York City, to which the note waiting at his hotel that afternoon had invited him.

Theo Hubbard was no larger than a boy. But he'd never let his size confine the scope of his dreams. At twenty-six he'd already earned the confidence of the engineer in chief of the Navy. At the moment he was in civilian clothes, a rumpled brown suit of only modest quality. His lips were firm, his blue eyes determined, his small chin smooth-shaven. For once his ...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Reviews

BookBrowse Review

BookBrowse

Power is the author of at least 25 novels and is often described as the most popular living author of American sea fiction. In addition to being a novelist, he's also a public policy analyst and a retired naval office. He has written a couple of stand-alone novels but the rest of his books fall into four series - those starring ex-SEAL Tiller Galloway, the Dan Lenson novels set in the modern navy, the Hemlock County novels (his only landlocked series set in the area of Pennsylvania where he grew up), and his Civil War series.   (Reviewed by BookBrowse Review Team).

Full Review Members Only (182 words).

Media Reviews

Publishers Weekly

A larger cast than Poyer's naval Dan Lenson novels makes for occasional choppiness, but otherwise this book is every bit as good; Poyer makes readers see and feel the blockade and the men who tried to maintain it.

Kirkus Reviews

Series best, and for those who see the Civil War as this country's defining drama, simply not to be missed.

Reader Reviews

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Beyond the Book

The USS Merrimack (scuttled by the Union forces when they abandoned the Norfolk Navy Yard at Portsmouth, VA, and renamed the Virginia by the Confederate forces who subsequently raised her) and the Monitor (built in about 90 days by John Ericsson) fought the first engagement between ironclad ships, in March 1862. If you can't remember the outcome I'm not going to tell you here as it would be a bit of a plot spoiler!

However, I will tell you that the Monitor sank in heavy ...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Readalikes

Readalikes Full readalike results are for members only

If you liked That Anvil of Our Souls, try these:

  • The March jacket

    The March

    by E.L. Doctorow

    Published 2006

    More about this book

    Read Reviews

    Stunningly renders the countless lives swept up in the violence of a country at war with itself. The "Great March" in E. L. Doctorow's hands becomes something more – a floating world, a nomadic consciousness, and an unforgettable reading experience with awesome relevance to our own times.

  • Signal and Noise jacket

    Signal and Noise

    by John Griesemer

    Published 2004

    More about this book

    Read Reviews

    In this rich and rewarding read Griesemer effortlessly animates the epic story of the laying of the trans-Atlantic cable, and the men and women who are caught in its monumental tide.

Non-members are limited to two results. Become a member


Search Readalikes again
How we choose readalikes
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member
and discover your next great read!

Join Today!

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
The Opposite of Everyone
by Joshilyn Jackson

"Quirky and appealing characters, an engaging story, and honest dialogue make this a great book!"
- BookBrowse

About the book
Join the discussion!

Award Winners

  • Book Jacket: A Great Reckoning
    A Great Reckoning
    by Louise Penny
    Canadian author Louise Penny is back with her twelfth entry in the Chief Inspector Armand Gamache ...
  • Book Jacket: Homegoing
    Homegoing
    by Yaa Gyasi
    It's all very well to challenge people to be the masters of their own destiny, but when you&#...
  • Book Jacket: When Breath Becomes Air
    When Breath Becomes Air
    by Paul Kalanithi
    When Breath Becomes Air is the autobiography of Paul Kalanithi, written in the time period between ...

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Victoria
    by Daisy Goodwin

    Daisy Goodwin breathes new life into Victoria's story, and does so with sensitivity, verve, and wit." - Amanda Foreman

    Read Member Reviews

Who Said...

Fanaticism consists in redoubling your effort when you have forgotten your aim

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Word Play

The Big Holiday Wordplay:
$400+ in Prizes

Enter Now

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.