Revolution, counterrevolution, and counter counterrevolution.Mix this with an Anglo-Paraguayan Consortium's cutthroat dealings, AmericanCivil War jetsam, and some French socialist fighters, and you have the basisfor Britannia's Reach.
This non-stop novelbegins innocently enough. Nicholas Dawlish and his wife, Florence, are livingat Portsmouth, where Nicholas has a posting at the Royal Naval Torpedo and MineSchool. Then Admiral Sir Richard Topcliffe calls. His offer sends Nicholas tothe San Joaquin River, to protect British trading interests there, via anobsolete British steam-gunboat, the Toad.
Nicholas soon findshimself embroiled in a complex and conflicting situation. The Consortium'smanager, Don Plutarcho Murillo, is more vicious than the revolutionaries, andhis chief henchman, Colonel Silas Culbertson, is an ex-Confederate thug. WhenDawlish meets with the rebels, he finds their leader, El Pobre, and his Frenchfollowers sympathetic.
The novel nicelyillustrates river warfare, carefully detailing the vessels, their armaments,and capabilities. The treatment of the insurgents captures the good-causebad-actions dilemma of revolts. If you enjoy action-packed adventure, you won'tbe disappointed.
- Barbara Peacock
HistoricNaval Fiction Site (historicnavalfiction.com)
Review:Britannia's Reach by Antoine Vanner
ME Book Reviews Created: 28 May 2014
Britannia's Reach by Antoine Vanner is the second book inthis new series set during the early years of the Royal Navy's conversion to asteam powered iron fleet. Dawlish is again seconded, this time to a privatecorporation in South America.
There were several wars involving early steam vessels on thevast rivers of South America and the plot of this book enables the author toexplore that area of naval warfare. Dawlish is given leave so he can head upthe naval forces of the 'consortium' which has lost control of it's productiveland to an uprising.
Cooperation with the mercenaries of the land forces and thecivilian leaders of the expedition do not go well at first and Dawlish isblamed for some early failures, however the power of the naval forces under hiscommand are the only way of achieving a breakthrough and his plans areeventually accepted.
Once again this is a well written novel with a good plot thatflowed smoothly holding my attention well. Although it is not set in the Age ofSail I enjoy Dawlish's adventures and look forward to reading more.Recommended.