Shortlisted for Book of the Month
Alexander Clay series #3
Nautical / Fictional Saga
Alexander Clay is now a Post Captain following his exploits in the first two volumes and his first command is a tough one: the crew of the Titan have mutinied and deposed their ruthless captain. Unable to identify the ring leaders, Clay restores certain activities – such as music on deck – and wins round the majority of the crew. But he still needs the help of some of his former shipmates.
Also in his camp is Sir Edward Pellew, a nod to Forester here, but Pellew was a real person, active at this time. Pellew orders the Titan to take part in the blockade of a French port and here Clay proves his worth once again, as do the majority of his crew, but mutiny is still brewing and when the fleet rebels en masse, things don't look promising for Clay. Despite all this, love could still be in the air for our intrepid Captain ...
Mr Allan follows a a tried and tested formula; other captains are either tyrants or weak and they all look to support the 'gentlemen' rather than the talented. Pursers are sly and penny-pinching, everybody on board has a secret, whether good or bad and there are a lot of 'buddy' relationships covering all decks. What, for me, elevates the author to the heights of Forester, Kent and O' Brian, is the magnificence of the descriptions of life at sea, the hazards of sailing and the really authentic-sounding dialogue incorporating the odd-sounding nuances of the times.
There were a few typos in my file and, as with all series, it is always best for readers to acquaint themselves with the earlier volumes. There are, however, enough references to previous activities to make this perfectly readable as an independent story. I would have liked to have seen a date at least at the beginning if not as part of some chapter headings and perhaps a map, but that was no great omission as most of the action takes place in one place.
I can heartily recommend this book in its own right, but especially to followers of the other authors in this genre mentioned above.
© Richard Tearle
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