Blog Tour/Book Review: The Long Way Home by Kevin Bannister

About The Long Way Home

Publisher: Fireship Press (September 15, 2016)

Set in the turbulent times of the War of Independence, ‘The Long Way Home’ follows the lives of Thomas Peters and Murphy Steele who are friends, former slaves, fellows-in-arms and leaders of the Black Brigade. Their real-life story is an epic adventure tale as they battle bounty hunters, racism, poverty and epidemic in their adopted country after the war.

‘The Long Way Home’ has resonated with readers around the world as an unforgettable account of courage, hope and determination triumphing over despair and injustice. Thomas Peters, thoughtful and charismatic, and Murphy Steele, strong and impulsive, lead their followers on an inspirational search for a place where they can be free.


“The author has written about such a sensitive topic and in a very beautiful way. The reader will become immersed in a reality that may seem too distant, but written in a language that conjures very vivid images, a tale that will speak to the hearts of readers with eloquence. Bannister has successfully combined historical facts with glowing imagination to deliver a masterpiece that will be well received by lovers of historical fiction. His language succinctly portrays the world of a slave and the injustices prevalent in that world.”–Romuald Dzemo, author of Courage To Embrace Yourself and You Can’t Be A Failure

“Kevin Bannister’s Long Way Home is a novel that grabs your attention from the start and keeps you riveted to the last word. . It is written around an era where the life of an Indigenous North American, and a person of African roots, were deemed by Caucasians to be easily expendable and not a thing to trouble a conscience. It highlights in great detail the fact that when greed and self interest came to the forefront during the American Revolution that Caucasian brothers had no compulsion about inflicting unspeakable barbarities upon each other. An unforgettable read!”–Dr. Daniel N. Paul, C.M., O.N.S., LLD, DLIT, Mi’kmaw eldering, author of We Were Not The Savages, Order of Canada recipient, journalist and lecturer,

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About Kevin Bannister

Kevin Bannister is a rancher and writer living in the beautiful foothills of central Alberta. He would like Thomas Peters and Murphy Steele to be celebrated as the heroes that they were in their lifetimes and to be inspirations to young people everywhere to persevere in the face of bigotry, poverty, government indifference or any other adversity.

Connect with Kevin on Goodreads.

My Review


As you look through the pages of history, you will see many episodes of Man’s ability to rise to new heights of excellence. The invention of the wheel, democracy, industry, and space travel, to name a few. Personally, I prefer to view man as basically good. But in those same pages of history there is also show evidence of Man’s ingenuity in devising cruel and vicious torments. Even in this fabulous nation, the United States of America, there are a few dark stains marring our history. Slavery, for one, which is the topic of this historical novel.

Thomas Peters and Murphy Steele were real people who were alive during the years of the War of Independence. Thomas was a gifted orator. Murphy was also respected as a leader, though he was impatient and angry. They were slaves forced to labor on a white Virginians’ property. The work was grueling. They were treated as chattel and had no rights. Thomas and Murphy yearned for freedom and attempted escaping on more than one occasion. Each time they got a little closer to freedom, but would end up getting caught by unscrupulous bounty hunters, and upon return to their owner, they were punished severely. Dragged behind running horses, whipped, and eventually branded on the cheek with a hot letter ‘R’, the owner’s initial, they suffered.

Enter the Redcoats. The territories on this continent had more than enough of British taxes and rule. War was declared and the British sent in their troops. To bolster their forces, the Redcoats guaranteed freedom to all the slaves who would join them. Thomas and Murphy were among many of the slaves who joined up. They served in black regiments with distinction.

We know the British lost the war, paving the way for the United States of America to be born. The runaway slaves feared that they would be returned to their owners when the British left the colonies. Punishment, they knew, would be very harsh. After a glimpse of freedom, they were to receive a fate that was unjust, once again.

Surprisingly, the British kept their word, and as the Redcoats fled from American shores, they took the members of the Black Regiment with them. Freedom at last! They were taken to Newfoundland where they were promised freedom, land, and rations. The former slaves looked forward to establishing their own homes, farms, and businesses. They were so hopeful.

Starting new lives was not going to be easy and so Thomas and Murphy were called on again for their leadership abilities. Thomas was a problem-solver and Murphy was literate. Between the two they had all they needed to be effective. They worked tirelessly to see that everyone received that which they had been promised.

Mr. Bannister, the author, did a great amount of research in writing this book. I had no idea that England offered the slaves freedom in exchange for service in their armies. I also didn’t know about the former slaves being settled in Newfoundland. All very interesting. I am giving this book 4.5 out of 5 stars for the history lesson and the writing which was very well done. I highly recommend this historical novel, not only for the history lesson and the writing, but also in order to find out how the former slaves fare in their new home. This book was very interesting and I enjoyed the chance to read it.

Thank you again to TLC Book Tours for giving me the opportunity to read a book by an author I had not heard of before. A little spoiler – Mr. Bannister is currently working on the sequel to The Long Way Home.

Happy Reading!

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