Though largely told through a series of journal entries, the inclusion of maps, photographs, letters and drawings give this story added weight. At times I found it hard to believe I was reading a novel. I was torn too between willing the expedition to succeed whilst acknowledging its impact on the lives of the indigenous tribes. A compelling read, historical fiction really does not get better than this.
This is a demanding country. Any man who ventures here must be strong of body and mind, with great endurance and the ability to live on very little food. He must be warrior, hunter, packer and diplomat all in one. In my experience, the only class of men to meet such requirements are mineral prospectors and fur trappers.
I anticipate that I will not be able to send another report until we have cleared the mountains and entered the Tanana River drainage.