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Rumours of War [Paperback]

Allan Mallinson

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Book Description

May 13 2008 Matthew Hervey (Book 6)
In Europe, rumours of war are rife once again, as Matthew Hervey returns to the Peninsula to fight a new battle, and to confront the ghosts of his first campaign…

The year is 1826, and the fragile peace in Europe following the defeat of Napoleon is threatened by Spanish aggression in the Peninsula. Matthew Hervey, newly returned from India, joins a party of officers sent to make an assessment and lend support to their Portuguese allies. His place on the expedition is secured with the help and influence of his new friend, Lady Katherine Greville.

But the Peninsula is a place redolent with memories. For it was here as a seventeen-year-old Cornet that Hervey had his first taste of military action. The French forces had pushed the British into an ignominious retreat, losing morale as quickly as ground, until under the leadership of Sir John Moore the army made a defiant stand at Corunna. In the epic battle that followed, Hervey and the Sixth Light Dragoons played their part in one of the Napoleonic War’s most famous military scenes. As the wave of the French onslaught broke against the solid rock of British resolve, the tide of war was turned once and for all in England’s favour.

Now, with the Spanish threatening the fortress at Elvas, and as Hervey makes ready for the battle once again, the sights and sounds of the Peninsula bring back a flood of memories. But it is not only Spanish aggression and ghosts from his past that Matthew must confront; Lady Katherine has arrived in the Peninsula and is looking for rewards in return for services rendered.

From the Hardcover edition.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 369 pages
  • Publisher: Corgi (May 13 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553813528
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553813524
  • Product Dimensions: 2.8 x 12.8 x 19.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 299 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #846,226 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


"I enjoyed the adventure enormously...Mallinson's descriptions of what it's like to be on campaign are as compelling, vivid and plausible as in any war novel I've ever read" Daily Telegraph "With this intelligent but pacy book, Brigadier Mallinson stays well on course to be regarded as the landlubbers' Patrick O'Brian'" Sunday Telegraph "Mallinson's shrewd handling of the issues of discipline and tactics, the responsibilities of junior and senior command, and the self-esteem of the cavalry, reflect both his own professional experience and excellent historical judgement'" The Times "'As always, the author manages to integrate Hervey's life seamlessly into history...Rumours of War is as well-written, and as wholly engrossing, as any of the previous novels in the series' T. J. Binyon, Evening Standard " "Mallinson writes in beautiful almost Jane Austen-like English and his command of history, military detail, horse-mastership ... polymathic." Country Life

About the Author

Brigadier Allan Mallinson is a serving calvary officer currently in the British Military Attaché in Rome. He is the author of five other titles in the Matthew Hervey series including A Close Run Thing, The Nizam’s Daughters, A Regimental Affair, A Call to Arms and The Sabre’s Edge.

From the Hardcover edition.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.0 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Most informative reading April 15 2014
By Diana Mepsted - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
The historical military content was impressive and easily understood. I'm looking forward to Matthew Hervey's exploits in "An Act of Courage' which I am about to start reading.
5.0 out of 5 stars This series is a must read for lovers of historical fiction. Oct. 7 2013
By William P. - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Great books and a great character. Such an interesting time in British history and a fun way to understand what it was like.
3.0 out of 5 stars Hervey in the Peninsula; twice over - vol 6 Oct. 10 2011
By John Middleton - Published on
The problem I have with this book is that it is neither fish nor fowl; not a complete novel of Hervey's first battles nor a satisfying instalment without them. It tries to both continue Major Hervey's story in 1826 post-India, and also to revert - when it suits it - to Cornet Hervey's 1808 expedition, on the basis that as Hervey is in Portugal he has a lot of flashbacks. The structure of the book is a problem, and one that I cant just wish away. Maybe this is due to reading the series all at once rather than as published, but as that is likely how others will read it now, that is no reason to excuse the book its structural faults.

As a result, I found it a little unsatisfying, or perhaps frustrating. On the one hand, it is nice to see Hervey face up to his sister and daughter (and taking and losing as a new lover a character first introduced some books ago) and to see him further advance; on the other the mix of old and new is confusing in places, and as well there are scenes shown to us that Hervey could never have seen.

Patrick O'Brien is held up as the benchmark for military/naval historical fiction, and yet he found it necessary to invent several years - no one quite knows how many - out of whole cloth to fit in the story he wanted to tell. Mallinson is not an O'Brien in the storytelling stakes: that's not a slam, very few are. There just seem to be a few too many compromises here within the book, where simply one big compromise - to write a prequel of the young Hervey - might have saved the day. Maybe Mallinson was trying to highlight Hervey's development as a character here by juxtaposing present and past, but the waters are too muddied for this to be wholly successful.

For all of that, I did keep reading and enjoy doing so. Three stars isn't wholly fair but I can't give it four: if I could give 3.5 I surely would. This is not the place to start reading about Hervey, and its not where I will give up, either, but I hope in a few volumes time that this is not the book I noted as where a decline set in, for whatever reason.
5.0 out of 5 stars Rumours of War July 13 2010
By HorseSoldier176 - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Fantastic continuing story of Matthew Hervey. Brigadier Mallinson continues a great tradition, of outstanding storytelling! I look forward to his next book!
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars Sept. 24 2014
By Dale - Published on
a good book in the series -

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