This series written by Tom Connery (a pen name for David Donachie) is a bit different from the usual Royal Navy stories of the 1793 French-English War..Show More »s. Instead of a story about a sailor this series is about a Royal Marine.
Our protagonist is Lieutenant George Markham. Connery has created our hero as a classic rogue. Markham has previously served in the Russian Army as a mercenary officer. He served in the British Army in the American Revolution. He is a bastard, Irish, a papist and a womanizer, possibly a coward. He is in a platoon of misfits from the British Army Regiment, the 65th foot. Somehow he is seconded to the Royal Marines.
As this is book one in the series Connery spends time building his characters. Markham has just been made –by “accident” a commander of a marine platoon assigned to HMS Hebe, a frigate. What makes it interesting is he hasn’t a clue what to do.
The action takes place in Toulon, which is in the hands of the Bourbon French and the English against the Jacobins. (Read “Awkward Commission” by David Donachie to learn how the English and Bourbon’s obtained control of Toulon)
The author has created a multi-dimensional main character and interesting relationships to the various other characters. As with other Donachie leading characters Markham speaks French. The plot is quite rich with spies, con-artists, arrogant officers, false Dauphin, romance and betrayal. The story also contains lots of swashbuckling action. A note of historical interest the 65th foot was not at the battle of Toulon.
I believe this may prove to be a promising start to a new series. Tom Connery’s (David Donachie) writing style is easy to read and the plot line is well laid out. If you enjoy nautical historical fiction of the 18th century era, I highly recommend this book. Gerry O’Brien narrates the book.
This is book number two in the Markham of the Marines series.
Connery (pseudonym for David Donachie) still has the story set in the first yea..Show More »rs of the French Revolution. Lieutenant George Markham is now on Corsica. The book opened with the Royal Marines making an amphibious landing on a beach under fire. After days of battle Markham and his men are sent off with a Royal Army Major to take a message to General Pasquale Paoli the leader of Corsica about treachery. The Corsican clan, known as the Bonapartist, is trying to assassinate Paoli. We meet in this book the famous women soldiers of the Corsican Army so silent and deadly with their knives. In this book we are introduced to a new character, Bellamy, an educated free Black man who is ordered by the Commander of the troop of Corsican women to carry the Corsica banner (A black Moor with white headband holding a banner) to lead the troops. Markham and troop flee and fight the French trying to get Paoli to Lord Nelson’s Ship before the battle to make sure the Corsica Army fights with the English against the French.
The book is well written and moves at a fairly fast pace. There is no sea action; all action takes place on shore. The book has lots of suspense, back-stabbing, spies, and treachery as well as cavalry charges and infantry action along with some history of Corsica.
Gerry O’Brien does a good job narrating the story.
This is the final installment in Markham of the Marines trilogy, set against the backdrop of revolutionary France in the 1790s. The historical novel ..Show More »is well written but the historical time line is a bit off in this book. I enjoyed the trilogy, Markham was a Royal Marine whereas, Bernard Cornwell’s Richard Sharpe was Army and the author kept pointing out the difference in roles, training and action between the two.
Lieutenant George Markham is still battling anti-Irish and anti-Catholic prejudices so prevalent in the 1700s. The action still takes place in Corsica and aboard ship. Still at loose is arch-villain Citizen Commissioner Fouguert. Markham meets Napoleon in this story. The book is full of hidden agendas, betrayals and schemes. There is ship to ship action and hand to hand combat to keep the reader’s attention. The ultimate betrayal is that of Captain George Germain the young captain of the H.M.S. Syilphide. Markham is stationed on the Syilphide as part of the Marine detachment. Germain unfairly denounces Markham to the Admiralty, leaving him where he began, seriously out of favor. Gerry O’Brien narrated the book.