A Call to Arms

A Call to Arms

Book - 2002
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1817 and 1818 have not been good years for Matthew Hervey. His beloved wife Henrietta is dead and he is no longer in the Sixth regiment. Now he is kicking his heels in a corrupt and unruly England far removed from its once glorious past. 1819 sees Hervey in Rome with his sister Elizabeth where a chance meeting with man of letters Percy Bysshe Shelley leads him to rethink his future. Realizing just how much he misses the excitement of military action and the camaraderie of his regiment, Hervey hurriedly purchases a new commission and is refitted for the uniform of the 6th Light Dragoons. Hervey s most immediate task is to raise a new troop and to organize transport, for his men and horses are to set sail for India with immediate effect.
What Hervey and his greenhorn soldiers cannot know is that in India they will face one of their toughest trials. A large number of Burmese warboats are being assembled near the headwaters of the river leading to Chittagong, and the only way to thwart their advance involves an arduous and hazardous march through jungle territory. What begins as a relatively simple operation becomes a journey into the heart of darkness, as Hervey and his troop find themselves in the midst of hot and bloody action once more."
Publisher: London ; Toronto : Bantam Press, 2002.
ISBN: 9780593047279
Branch Call Number: FIC Malli
Characteristics: 315 p.


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Apr 07, 2012

I didn't enjoy this one as much as the previous 3 in the series. I found it rather slow moving with a somewhat disjointed plot (or perhaps more than one plot). It may be that I was getting tired of Mallinson's writing in a pre-Victorian style (though this lends a great deal of authenticity to the novel). Nevertheless Mallinson's description of regimental recruitment of the era and his description of army life in India was fascinating. As I mentioned before, I would love to have a glossary for the military, Indian, and the time period vocabulary. A decent read for those interested in this era and in the cavalry of the time, but without such an interest the plot would not likely hold many readers.

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