19 April 2019

Command the Raven by M. J. Logue

shortlisted for Book of the Month


Command the Raven (An Uncivil War Book 2)

"I love this series. I guess this is because I tend towards colourful rogues as main characters and no-nonsense women as their counterpart. But, in this instance, it is also because of the wonderful descriptive writing, and the totally believable characters - indeed I was somewhat shocked to discover that Ms Logue had completely made up Hollie, Luce, Het, Thankful Russell and the motley troop of ruffians. They are far too lifelike to not have been real people!"


Amazon UK
Amazon US
Amazon CA
(An Uncivil War Book 2)

Military / Fictional Saga

17th Century / English Civil Wars
England

"February 1643. The beginning of the English Civil War and for once Captain Hollie Babbitt thinks his luck's turned. After a typically daredevil assault on Prince Rupert's elite cavalry troop, he's presently in favour with the Army of Parliament's commander. He's also personally in favour with Luce Pettitt's fragrant Auntie Het. And although they haven't managed to break Luce of the poeting habit, he's turning into a competent and capable officer. But what seems on the surface to be a minor promotion to a quiet backwater posting, sees Hollie forced to confront the demons of his past...."


I love this series. I guess this is because I tend towards colourful rogues as main characters and no-nonsense women as their counterpart. But, in this instance, it is also because of the wonderful descriptive writing, and the totally believable characters - indeed I was somewhat shocked to discover that Ms Logue had completely made up Hollie, Luce, Het, Thankful Russell and the motley troop of ruffians. They are far too lifelike to not have been real people!


But while the characters are made up, the events are not. The battles are graphic (as is some of the language), the hardship, the fear, the doubts, the sheer weariness of the hard slog of  enduring the dreariness of a siege, the mud and filth of being on the march with the army,  or the aftermath of battle with the inevitable result of losing dear friends to the sorrow of death, or the pain and discomfort of recovering from dreadful wounds. All of it brought vividly to life within these page-turning pages - but don't get me wrong, this is not a gruesome or difficult read, it is merely realistic, and in places extremely funny, for the characters populating this novel - this series - are ordinary men and women involved in extraordinary circumstances.


From where I live in North Devon my eighteenth-century farmhouse overlooks the Taw Valley and the main road from Exeter to Barnstaple and Torrington, where on the 16th February 1646, a decisive battle of the south-western campaign of the First English Civil War was fought, the outcome marking the end of Royalist cause in the West Country. I am a little disappointed that Babbit and his troop were situated in the North, Midlands and Essex area, I would have liked to imagine them making their way along 'my' bit of the valley!


Aside from the addictive charm of the leading characters, the delight of this series is that because of the meticulous research you do not realise that, as you read, you are taking in the bare-bone little facts of the history of the English Civil War, the where and the how, but not the political machinations of the why... the answer to that is often a mystery to even the soldiers involved. They are there to do a job, they are soldiers fighting on the Puritan side, not for the Royalist Cavaliers. These are men on the 'other' side... and that makes Babbit and co., refreshingly different to the majority of English Civil War novels which write of dashing cavaliers and loyalty at all cost to King Charles I. I've never really considered the buff-coated men of Cromwell's New Model Army as 'heroes', always believing myself to be a Royalist supporter.  I hope Ms Logue will be delighted to learn that she has totally converted me. 


I am now eagerly delving into book three... and four ... and five...


© Helen Hollick 

(note: these novels contain explicit language)




click here to return to home page 'Bookshelf' then scroll down for more items of interest

4 comments:

  1. Come to the Dark Side.... we have cookies! :-D Thank you for the amazing review. You'll be pleased to know that Captain Venning (and that infernal egg-sucking, sheet-widdling, pie-lifting fleabag Tinners) have a lamentable amount to do with Torringron church. But that's Book 5....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Book 5... I've now read! (Actually, I've now read everything!) Ms Logue I want more! Get writing Madam! :-)
      And I'm torn between Thankful and Hollie - love 'em both!

      Delete
  2. I love them both as well - so much so that Hollie has earned a mention in the ninth book in The Graham Saga as Matthew Graham's commanding officer back in the day... Thankful wrings my heart, over and over again. I want to adopt him, feed him, pat him, love him. I think he'd be less than delighted...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's your 'fault', Anna, that I met Hollie and Thankful- your review on DDRevs caused me to buy The Red Horse. Loved it!

      Delete

Thank you for leaving a comment - it should appear soon, but Blogger sometimes chucks its teddies out of the cot and has a tantrum. My apologies if you leave a comment and I do not respond - blame it on Blogger Bloopers. If you are having problems, contact me on author AT helenhollick DOT net and I will post it for you. Sometimes a post will appear as anonymous instead of your name or avatar - I draw attention to this being another Blogger Blooper and NOT of MY doing... That said ...SPAMMERS or distasteful rudeness will be stamped on, squashed, composted and very possibly cursed - if you spam my blog, next time something nasty happens to you just remember that I DID warn you...

Helen