Saturday, November 27, 2010

Lord Hornblower Is a Great Adventure in the Forester Tradition

Lord Hornblower
A Book Review
By Alan Eggleston, writer and editor, business books, leisure books

C. S. Forester’s Hornblower was the first Age of Sail series I’d read, and in 2002 I bought the last two books of the 11 book series. At the time, I didn’t realize there were other authors also writing Age of Sail books, and not wanting to run out of books to read, I set these aside for some future need. I’ve since discovered Patrick O’Brien, Dudley Pope, and now Julian Stockwin. So I’ve begun the final journey with Hornblower.

Lord Hornblower is Forester’s 10th masterfully written book. In it, Horatio Hornblower, now knighted and a Lord, married to his second wife, sister to people in high places, is living the high but un-seaman-like life on land. He gets the call from Admiralty to scuttle a mutiny on board a frigate off the coast of the enemy, France, that threatens to hand the ship over to the French if every man isn’t given amnesty and the Captain court martialed for cruelty. But discipline at sea requires the men responsible be punished without mercy. 

Lord Hornblower (Hornblower Saga)Lord Hornblower (Hornblower Saga)

Only Hornblower’s ingenuity can save a ship, her crew, and England from losing face to Napoleon. Yet this is only the beginning of a tale that takes Hornblower to service on land to confront Napoleon’s Army and face eventual death by firing squad. In the meantime, his wife goes off to Austria with her brother to reunite Europe against Napoleon, leaving Hornblower to fall in love with the daughter of an old French ally. These are the waning days of Napoleon’s attempt to build an empire, and you are there to witness the effects on the countryside and its people.

This story is full of brave sea tangles, edgy land battles, daring escapes on horseback, and dear friends lost. It’s a great adventure in the Forester tradition.

(I purchased these books and was not compensated in any way for this review.)

My next read in the series: 
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