Have you ever wondered what events would have transpired if the Confederates had never gone away? What would they have done? Where would they have gone? And the place they chose to call their very own, what would it have been like?
Douglas McDonough explores what would possibly have taken place in his historical fiction novel,The Phoenix Gambit. This alternate history of the Confederacy features many historical figures in another possible outcome of the American Civil War. In this novel filled with assassinations and desperate military strategies, a few brave individuals plan a dangerous course of action in an attempt to save the Confederacy and relocate it to Mexico. They are going to risk losing everything to save what they believe in and the freedom to live as they wish.
Remember when President Lincoln was assassinated? He is still killed in this story, but other important political and military people are killed, too. The Vice-President then assumes power and history takes a much different course. The Union is still victorious in the Civil War, but Jefferson Davis and those close to him escape punishment. The Confederate States are occupied by Union forces and are being groomed to be accepted back into the Union.
The Confederates want their own country and Mexico happens to be the fortunate (or unfortunate) place they choose. This means that Emperor Maximilian, the internationally recognized ruler of Mexico, must leave. Once he is gone, the legality of any claim to the government of this nation is up in the air. Now it is easy pickings for the Confederates.
In the Confederate States of Mexico, anyone accused of crimes against the state is arrested and made an indentured servant. These indentured servants are mistreated and used as their government sees fit. They are easily recognized by the iron collars they are forced to wear around their necks. The Confederate States of Mexico, despite all the promises of Jefferson Davis and Santa Anna, has turned into a terrible place to live. All the promises of a free society have fallen away. Their dream society has turned into a place where one must do exactly as the government says; disagree with them and you risk being arrested as a traitor for crimes against the state. Punishment is horrible and no mercy is shown.
The Confederates prove that they are not easily defeated. After a victory against the Union, other nations begin to recognize them as a nation. What will happen if they are recognized as such by all nations? Will Jefferson Davis and Santa Anna begin to rule with compassion or will they only become more hungry for power?
The United States hasn't just been idly sitting by and watching all of this take place. The Office of Strategic Services is created and those wanting to be a part of this organization undergo intense training. They learn all different kinds of self-defense and fighting techniques. They are prepared physically and mentally to complete their missions successfully. When training is done, they are sent out into the field to find and destroy the enemies of their nation.
The author has at least one more book planned in his alternate history of the Confederacy, so the story doesn't end here. A Manifest Destiny is the name of the next book in this series. Hopefully it will be out soon.
The author sent me a free copy of this book to read and review. Any history buff would absolutely love reading this book. Anyone who happens to be a Civil War fanatic would devour this book. Any person who is curious about what an alternate outcome to this famous war might have been like would be sure to enjoy this work of fiction. If you would like to purchase a copy of this book, I have provided an Amazon link below.