The Flames of Time Baynard H. Kendrick


Published: 1948


374 pages


The Flames of Time  by  Baynard H. Kendrick

The Flames of Time by Baynard H. Kendrick
1948 | Hardcover | PDF, EPUB, FB2, DjVu, audiobook, mp3, RTF | 374 pages | ISBN: | 4.37 Mb

I was a lad when I first read Baynard Kendrick’s THE FLAMES OF TIME and I remember it fondly, so much so that I included it in a list of my 25 favorite books. I recently found an old copy of the 1948 novel and read it again. Some of the luster is gone, the writing now appears a bit florid, and the descriptions of bare breasted women are no longer very arousing. Nevertheless I find that I still enjoy the book.It’s an adventurous romp through early Florida with great historical backdrop and vivid descriptions of black water swamps, the fierce denizens residing there, and the magnificent streams, lakes, and stands of ash, gum and cypress trees that make Florida so entrancing.

The characters seem to dart through this nearly impassable landscape with ease. I’ve always marveled as I read adventure novels of this type at the number of miles traveled so speedily on foot, on a horse, or in a cart.Artillery Ames, the hero, is improbably handsome, intelligent, and highly skilled with pistol, rifle, knife and tomahawk. He is also principled and outspoken, able to convince powerful men to either join him in dangerous enterprises, accept his point of view, or, at least, not to murder him because of his impertinence.

He has a way with the ladies, of course, but is careful to not get involved with the multitude of fancy women who compete for his favors. His libido, although highly developed, is carefully restrained.The early 1800s was a time of conflict between the United States, England, France and Spain as the countries all competed for trade and territory in Florida.

The native Creek and Seminole Indians were furious that their land and traditions were being trampled and their ferocious attacks on the impinging white man were augmented by slaves and renegades who were in it for the excitement and the loot. Ames roams through all this intrigue with a righteous outlook that, quite frankly, is hard to figure out.Kendrick, who died in 1977, was best known for his whodunit mysteries and pulp fiction.

He was intrigued by the hardships faced by the blind and many of his characters were blind. He was also very interested in Florida history which prompted this book, although it was out of character with most of his work. His writing is flamboyant and his scenic descriptions are somewhat overdone, but he captures the beauty of Florida and its environs in admirable fashion, providing the reader with aromatic hints of tropical flowers, marshes, and native trees. The difficulties presented by sweltering heat, chilling cold and incessant mosquitoes are also well described.The swashbuckling adventure, the visions of a beautiful environment, and the careful depiction of historical events that originally drew me to this book are as I remember.

It’s not a classic, but it’s an entertaining and pleasant read.

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