Command a King's Ship (The Bolitho Novels) (Vol 6)
Spithead, 1784. His Majesty's Frigate, Undine, sets sail for India and the seas beyond. Europe may be at peace—but in colonial waters the promises of statesmen count for little and the bloody struggle for supremacy still goes on.
High Adventure in East Indian Waters in the 1780's!
By Donal A. O'Neill - August 18, 1999
Richard Bolitho is saved from peacetime idleness in the period between the end of the American War of Independence and the start of the French Revolutionary War by being assigned a frigate mission to the East Indies. The objective is to found a colony in an area disputed with other colonial powers, but the greatest challenge comes from an experienced French captain who, with his ship, has been seconded to the service of a ruthless local potentate. Action on both sea and land is violent and bloody and, as usual in these stories, the technical detail and historic context are conveyed in a wholly convincing manner. Bolitho's woes are compounded by an unhelpful British political agent and in the midst of all the turmoil still manages to commence a secret love affair. The story builds up to a splendid climax in which Bolitho's faithful friend Herrick, who appears in many novels of the series, emerges as the principal hero of the story. A rattling good read that is hard to put... read more
Bolitho a role model
By Robert G. Leroe - September 5, 2000
Years ago, when I served as a Chaplain for the 3rd Armored Division (Spearhead) in Frankfurt Germany, Dan, my Chaplain Assistant encouraged me to read the naval fiction of Alexander Kent. I had no interest in the British Navy, but Dan's enthusiasm, along with previous recommendations which had been on the mark, encouraged me to give Kent's books a try. I began to read about the remarkable life of Richard Bolitho, whose life spanned from 1756 to 1815. In the course of 22 books we see Bolitho from his days as a lowly Midshipman (at the age of twelve) to his death as a knighted Rear Admiral during battle. Kent has even continued past Bolitho's death with a novel focused his nephew Adam, captain of a frigate, who appears throughout the saga.I've since read C.S. Forester's books on Hornblower and have tried O'Brien's, but the lesser-known Kent outshines all in his fiction. He brings the hardships of the period to life, drawing the reader into the harsh world of the... read more
A gripping sea story
By Joseph H Pierre "Joe Pierre" - December 23, 2003
As I have noted before in other reviews, Kent is a great story teller. In this one, after the peace is signed at Versailles between France and England following the American Revolutionary War, the protagonist of the series (this is number five in the Bolitho series), Richard Bolitho, is given command of a 24 gun frigate, the Undine (a fifth rater), and ordered to India, where his task is to assist in taking over a Spanish post, which is to revert to the British flag. The post's governor is an admiral under whom he has previously served, and who is trying to restore his reputation after a bad command call in a previous sea battle..There is skullduggery almost immediately, including plots to sabotage the deal by the French, who are in league with local pirates, and a love affair with a British government officer's wife. Bolitho, it would seem, is naive about women and driven more by his glands than his brain (as are many young men).In any case, this is a whale of... read more
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