Alaric Bond Review: Acre by Tom Grundner

Grundners fourth book in his Sir Sydney Smiths series starts after Nelsons victory at the Nile and describes the siege of Acre, using both historical fact and the fictional threads that have run throughout his series. It is not light reading: a story told about such a grisly event is hardly likely to be, and several of the key historical characters come out covered in anything other than glory. The pace is fast and captivating however, and some well placed humour and adroit focusing on the fictional element of the narrative make it an enjoyable and stimulating read. An unusually large proportion of the book is taken up by the authors notes, in which Grundner gives more detail about the events and explains why a few had been placed out of context in the narrative.

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Master and Madman: The Surprising Rise and Disastrous Fall of the Hon Anthony Lockwood RN (HC)

Peter Thomas and Nicholas Tracy have a new book out which is now available for pre-order in hardcover, Master and Madman: The Surprising Rise and Disastrous Fall of the Hon Anthony Lockwood RN. Release date 15 March 2012. Peter Thomas was Professor on English at the University of New Brunswick, Canada, who became interested in Lockwood when researching the founding of the first Welsh settlements in Canada. This research extended twenty years and before his death in 2007 he asked Nicholas Tracy to complete the work.

Anthony Lockwood’s story is at the heart of the Georgian Navy though the man himself has never taken centre stage in its history. His naval career described by himself as twenty five years incessant peregrination followed a somewhat erratic course but almost exactly spanned the period of the French wars and the War of 1812. Lockwood was commended for bravery in action against the French; was present at the Spithead Mutiny; shipwrecked and imprisoned in France; appointed master attendant of the naval yard at Bridgetown, Barbados, during the year the slave trade was abolished; and served as an hydrographer before beginning his three-year marine survey of Nova Scotia and the Bay of Fundy. Against the odds he managed to finesse a treasury appointment as Surveyor General of New Brunswick and became the right hand man of the Governor, General Smyth.

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The Great Pirate Legends Debunked (PB)

Author Benerson Little has a new book, The Great Pirate Legends Debunked: Authentic Details of Sea Rover History More Extraordinary Than the Myths, which will be available in paperback in the UK on 1 October 2011. Currently it is not listed for release in the US until 1 September 2012.

This book debunks more than a dozen pirate myths-from the flying of the Jolly Roger to the burying of treasure to walking the plank to the staging of epic sea battles-and shows that the truth about pirates is more fascinating and disturbing than the myths. For example, pirates rarely had their captives walk the plank; instead captives were often subject to horrendous torture, such as being hung by their genitals, burned by slow matches, or hung by their arms tied behind their backs and then dropped, causing their shoulders to pop from their sockets.

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Review: The Emperor’s Gold by Robert Wilton

Napoleon needs the English fleet gone so that he and his army can cross the channel. With Nelson chasing accross the Atlantic the Admiralty must deploy their ships to prevent a convergance of the French fleet. Whilst governments plan the spies of both sides, English reformers and Irish rebels do all they can to further their own causes.

At the start of this book we are introduced to Tom Roscarrock but who is he working for, the French, the mysterious Comptrollerate-General for Scrutiny and Survey or an Englishman gone rogue?

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Review: Heart of Oak by M. Kei

As I have come to expect from this author we are soon in the thick of the action with this fast based book. We are treated to the faniliar mix of romance and swashbuckling fights with Peter Thornton getting into his regular scrapes.

Although the focus of the novel moves more towards Portuguese affairs, the Sallee Rovers and their xebec craft, which make this series so interesting, are still a strong influence.

In a recent interview the author indicated that this book closes a phase of the series and, if you have been following, it does bring the various plot threads to a closure nicely.


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