Gripping. Great sentences. Grab the dictionary before reading for the occassional archaic term. 5 stars.
Am behind on my count because I started James Michener's Alaska - also engaging, like a good anthropology class- and got to the Russians' arrival before putting it down (not actually moving to Alaska has dampened my interests in its history). I haven't met any recurring characters so can pick it up without too much trouble if I care to down the road.
Now on How to Talk Minnesotan by Howard Mohr (revised for the 21st Century). Thanks, Chaddy, for the original.