"The War of Knives give us a tour of the Haitian Revolution that would make Harry Flashman doff his hat and drop his jaw. Along with all the excellent fun of this book, Broos Campbell seems to know the subject rather well, though he certainly is never dull about it."

"Entertaining ... an elaborate swashbuckling tale that will appeal especially to fans of high historical adventure."
Publishers Weekly

“Battles with swords, muskets, and cannons run rampant [and] blood flows like water every time one group of patriots meets another. Everyone is some sort of patriot ...”

"Matty Graves and The War of Knives are sure-fire winners ..."
—Jay Worrall,
author of Any Approaching Enemy

"Don't start this one at bedtime; you'll be up all night!"
William H. White,
author of the Oliver Baldwin series

Selected Works

The Matty Graves novels
Midshipman Matty Graves must choose between family and duty.

“Refreshingly cynical.”
—Jonathan Lunn

Acting-Lieutenant Matty Graves gets caught up in the Haitian Revolution in 1800. Mayhem ensues!

"[N]ever dull . . ."
—Madison Smartt Bell

Matty seizes the opportunity to make a name and fortune for himself—even if it means destroying those closest to him.

"[U]nusual, if somewhat jaundiced . . ."
Library Journal

Errors after the fact
Seamen's terms in landsmen's language
Haitian Timeline
Nautical info bits
How far it is from here to there, by sea, in English statute miles.
Public domain stuff—I didn't write this.
Yep, still maps

The War of Knives

Sent ashore to observe Toussaint L'Ouverture's siege of Jacmel in southern Hispaniola in 1800, Acting Lieutenant Matty Graves unveils a murderous conspiracy, becomes entangled in a race war, and discovers a dark secret about his own past.

"Matty Graves, acting-lieutenant aboard the Rattle Snake in 1800, is still dealing with the loss of his captain, his cousin Billy, when Commodore Gaswell outlines a new mission for him. Matty is to make his way to the Jacmel in Saint-Domingue to gather information about a plot to raise a slave rebellion in the Southern United States. He is chosen for the mission because of his familiarity with the Creole dialect and as Gaswell says, 'Because I need an officer to go ashore that can pass for Creole.' Well aware that Creole 'can mean someone that ain't all white, and it can mean a European that was born in the colonies,' Matty realizes that Gaswell has raised a question of great concern to him, that of his mother's race. He embarks on the dangerous mission preoccupied by how he will be received by both whites and men of color. Matty is imprisoned and surrounded by death as he makes his way on and off the island.

"The second book in the Matty Graves series following No Quarter (McBooks Press, 2006/​VOYA June 2006), this work fictionalizes historical figures such as Toussaint L'Ouverture and fills in gaps in the history books with realistic details of the brutality of war. This blending results in an exciting adventure novel. A glossary of naval terms will help readers who are not schooled in nautical fiction. Those who enjoyed the first book will like this one, and new readers will have no trouble becoming involved in Matty's adventures."
— Christine Sanderson,
writing in Voice of Youth Advocates

Here's a nice review of The War of Knives in the Journal for Adolescent and Adult Literacy. Also a friendly interview in the same place. (Scroll down a bit to "Interview with Broos Campbell.") Both pieces are by James Blasingame, who not only is a nice guy but obviously superintelligent for liking my books.

Did I mention that Publishers Weekly likes it? Click here to read the full review.