Monday, 9 March 2009

Review – Simon SCARROW – “Fire and Sword”

Publ: 2009
Pensby Library
ISBN: 978 0 7553 2437 8
Genre: Historical Fiction
Pages: 520p
Found by serendipity
Rating: ***** ***

What led you to pick up this book?
I like Simon Scarrow’s works and I also like the Napoleonic wars era. This combined both.

Describe the plot without giving anything away.
This is the third part of a quartet of novels about Napoleon and Wellington – preceded by Young Bloods and The Generals. This covers the period 1804 to 1809; moving back and forth between the activities of Napoleon and Arthur Wellesley as the latter helps to convince the British government to land troops in the Peninsula to attack Napoleon on the continent.

What did you think of the characters?

Well delineated and credible. In their own way both are made out as heroes, despite the overwhelming ambitions of Napoleon one sympathises with him every time he is let down by others. Wellington, meanwhile is not perfect and his ambition is no less great than that of his enemy.

What did you think about the style?
Easy to read with plenty of natural dialogue. I do enjoy a book that manages to go from narration to dialogue and back without causing a break in one’s thought pattern.

What did you like most about the book?
The way in which these two great men of history are made credible and human.

Was there anything you didn't like about the book?


Thoughts on the book jacket / cover.
Smart. A smart and attractive design by Tim Byrne.

Would I recommend it?

SIMON SCARROW (b. UK 1962) was for many years a lecturer at a leading Sixth Form College. He has run a Roman History programme taking parties of students to a number of ruins and museums across Britain. He lives in Norfolk.

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