The best books on King Philip's War

Many authors have picked their favorite books about King Philip's War and why they recommend each book.

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The Sovereignty and Goodness of God

By Mary Rowlandson,

Book cover of The Sovereignty and Goodness of God: A Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson

Mary Rowlandson’s narrative of her captivity experience with Native Americans during King Philip’s War was one of the first bestsellers in the English colonies. And it’s the first published “captivity narrative” in what was to become a popular American literary genre. Rowlandson’s book is a fast-moving and dramatic account that describes in detail the attack that destroyed her home and culminated in her capture. She includes a harrowing account of carrying her fatally wounded daughter on an arduous journey, her despair when her daughter dies, her struggles to survive among people she’s been taught to revile, and her eventual ransom and release. This book has long been one of the most important primary sources documenting Native culture in New England at the time of English colonization.


Who am I?

I write historical fiction set in New England and based on the lives of real people. My New England roots go back to the 1630s when my English ancestors first came to the region so I’m steeped in its traditions and literature. I love doing the research for my books, especially when my characters lead me in new directions. I spent ten years digging into the conflict between the Puritans and the indigenous Natives and in the process discovered a largely forgotten story that has long-lasting implications for our day.


I wrote...

Flight of the Sparrow: A Novel of Early America

By Amy Belding Brown,

Book cover of Flight of the Sparrow: A Novel of Early America

What is my book about?

In the midst of King Philip’s War, Mary Rowlandson is captured and sold into the service of a powerful woman tribal leader, where she becomes a pawn in the bloody struggle between English settlers and natives. As she battles cold, hunger, and exhaustion, she witnesses harrowing brutality but also unexpected kindness. She’s drawn to her captors’ open and straightforward way of life and disturbed by her attraction to a generous, protective English-speaking native.

All her life, Mary has been taught to fear God, submit to her husband, and abhor Indians. Now, having lived on the other side of the forest, she questions the edicts that have guided her, torn between the life she knew and the wisdom she’s discovered among the Natives.

Our Beloved Kin

By Lisa Brooks,

Book cover of Our Beloved Kin: A New History of King Philip's War

Our Beloved Kin is a unique account of King Philip’s War that centers on the history of Native resistance and their experience of the conflict. Drawing on early documents and information often overlooked in previous studies, the author, a member of the Missisquoi Band of Abenaki, presents an in-depth chronicle of the war and the events leading up to it. I wish this book had been in print when I was researching my book. While it wouldn’t have changed the basic arc of the novel, it would have given me a more complete understanding of James Printer’s perspective.


Who am I?

I write historical fiction set in New England and based on the lives of real people. My New England roots go back to the 1630s when my English ancestors first came to the region so I’m steeped in its traditions and literature. I love doing the research for my books, especially when my characters lead me in new directions. I spent ten years digging into the conflict between the Puritans and the indigenous Natives and in the process discovered a largely forgotten story that has long-lasting implications for our day.


I wrote...

Flight of the Sparrow: A Novel of Early America

By Amy Belding Brown,

Book cover of Flight of the Sparrow: A Novel of Early America

What is my book about?

In the midst of King Philip’s War, Mary Rowlandson is captured and sold into the service of a powerful woman tribal leader, where she becomes a pawn in the bloody struggle between English settlers and natives. As she battles cold, hunger, and exhaustion, she witnesses harrowing brutality but also unexpected kindness. She’s drawn to her captors’ open and straightforward way of life and disturbed by her attraction to a generous, protective English-speaking native.

All her life, Mary has been taught to fear God, submit to her husband, and abhor Indians. Now, having lived on the other side of the forest, she questions the edicts that have guided her, torn between the life she knew and the wisdom she’s discovered among the Natives.