Isabel is a thirteen-year old slave who works for the Locktons, a Loyalist family in Manhattan with her sister, Ruth, during the Revolutionary War. After a few weeks, Mrs.Lockton “gets rid of Ruth,” and Isabel is heartbroken, “All I had lost was everything” (197).
During this time, England is taking over New York City, and Curzon, a slave, persuades Isabel to spy on her owners who have information about the British Invasion. Since she knows how to read and write, this is a chance for them to escape, and she wants to look for Ruth. Isabel goes months and months spying on her owners and releasing information to the British. Eventually, she is caught by her master and is tortured for hours and left alone in a closet without any sources of food or drink until another slave sneaks her a biscuit, a glass of water, and a blanket.
Throughout the whole book, she is treated like less than a human and she just wants freedom and to get away from slavery. After hours of sitting in the closet, Isabel breaks out and finds Curzon, who is locked away, dying of starvation in a prison. They steal a boat and travel across the Jersey River. The book ends with Isabel and Curzon making it across the river and what happens next is in the sequel Forge.
This is such a interesting book that makes you want to read it until you know the ending; it’s a book that you don’t want to put down because it has so many unpredictable twist and turns. It is definitely a tearjerker considering the main character is so young and faces the challenge of family loss, slavery, betrayal, and has to deal with a very nasty owner.
–By Makyla A.