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This is the fifth book in the John Pearce Pelican series. Please note you should read this series in order as each book builds on the next.
The series is set against the backdrop of the French Revolution in 1794. We learned in prior books that Pearce and a group of men from the Pelican Pub was gang pressed into the Royal Navy by Captain Ralph Barclay. Pearce and the Pelican claim to have been illegally seized in an area that was off limits to press gangs. Pearce due to his ability and bravery was appointed a lieutenant by the King which caused some hostility from officers who have worked their way up the ranks. In this story the British are starting to lose the battle for Toulon as a new commander has taken over the French artillery. Hurrah! I knew Napoleon would be showing up in this battle.
Pearce’s main assignment in this book is to take a message to Naples, an Italian State ruled by Spanish Bourbons with a Hapsburg Queen (sister of Marie Antoinette), to seek assistance to help the British and the French Royalist hold Toulon.
As with the prior episodes in the series we have feuding senior naval officers’ striving for political sponsorship and battle honor. Each naval battle is well written and gripping to read. The historical detail is accurate and makes the story absorbing and exciting to read. Donachie’s ability to write realistic and historically accurate naval battle is improving with each book. He is becoming to naval battles what Bernard Cornwell is to land battle scenes. Peter Wickham narrated the book.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
I have read or listened to, almost every Royal Navy series out there and enjoyed the first three Donachie (Pierce) novels. However, this book felt like 20 middle chapter in a much larger work. Unfortunately, those 20 chapters did very little to forward the story (imo) and were mind numbingly boring.
I don't have any problems with long charter development books (like Post Captain) but this one was utterly without action and suspense.
I hope the next Pierce novel is better and actually has some amount of sea-born action or I'll be forced to give up on the series. PLEASE let the next novel be better!
3 of 4 people found this review helpful