I have just joined James Reasoner's Civil War Battle Series at Gettysburg, the sixth in his ten-book chronicle of the fortunes of a Virginian family. It isn't "Cold Mountain" on the home front nor "The Killer Angels" in the line of fire, but it's an enjoyable, well-crafted read and you don't need to have worked through the earlier titles to make sense of the interweaving storylines that are picked up and continued, but not concluded in this episode. One or two simple maps plotting the marches towards the accidental encounter at Gettysburg would have enhanced the closing chapters for me, but I will definitely be joining the Brannon brothers again on their journey from Manassas to Appomatox. (Don\'t tell me, but do they both complete it? I left Will in a very bad way, hit by a sharpshooter at the very end of the battle...) However, for a full-on historical narrative of the Gettysburg campaign and battle, I have to turn to the incomparable Stephen W. Sears for the best Civil War book, fiction, non-fiction or in-between, I have so far read: Gettysburg. The stories and the characters are what attract me most in military history and it seemed odd to me that in the Reasoner novel, the real-life personalities (from Lee - Robert E, but we see a lot more of Fitz - downwards) are less convincing than some of the created ones. I found them more convincing in The Killer Angels, but that was before I read the Sears' book. In Sears\' Gettysburg they really live. But I think fiction can be a great way of getting into these characters\' heads, so I'm interested to hear who you think does it really well (and then add them to my Amazon wishlist...).