The King's Privateer Hardcover – Apr 1992
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From Library Journal
In this fourth book of the series begun with The King's Coat ( LJ 5/1/89), Lieutenant Alan Lewrie, Royal Navy, continues his adventures in the Far East. Assigned to a ship disguised as a merchant vessel to check on French activities among local pirates, Alan finds plenty of action in Canton, Calcutta, and the islands of the South China Sea. He even runs into his hated father, Sir Hugo, but the two old enemies gain mutual respect as they are compelled to work together. Lambdin provides a well-rounded plot and fascinating, well-researched evocations of late 18th-century Oriental trade cities, but the graphic gore of the frequent battle scenes becomes increasingly unpleasant. More glory and romance, coupled with the already accurate descriptions of period tactics and weaponry, would go down better with readers of this genre than the welter of blood and guts. Recommended with this one reservation for public libraries.
- C. Robert Nixon, MLS, Lafayette, Ind.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Kirkus Reviews
Lambdin's lusty Royal Naval Lieutenant Alan Lewrie (The King's Commission, 1991, etc.) sails for the East Indies, where French privateers have dared to tamper with the profits of Britain's opium trade. Having at last foiled his father's plot to disinherit him of his mother's fortune, Lt. Lewrie is in London and in the chips, furnishing a flat and enjoying the favors of at least three shameless London ladies while paying semi-serious court to his virtuous colonial girlfriend, Caroline Chiswick. But the life of ease and easy virtue ends abruptly with a call from the Admiralty. Alan's services are needed immediately. He's to join a secret, unofficial mission, sailing with the crew of Telesto, an armed merchantman bound for India, where the august East India Company has fallen victim to French privateering. It's actually not a bad time to leave town: the pretty little housemaid Alan's seduced has announced her pregnancy, and Caroline Chiswick seems unduly interested in matrimony. In India, Alan is reunited with the last man in the world he wants to see--his unspeakable cad of a father, Sir Hugo. But Sir Hugo has gone off the sauce, given up paternal treachery, and returned to soldiering, living the good life in a pocket palace complete with complaisant dancing girls. A reconciliation is effected, and father and son sail for Macao, Canton, the South China Sea, and a series of rousing battles on sea and land with thousands of fierce native pirates and their decadent French masters. Irresistible. -- Copyright ©1992, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.See all Product Description
Top Customer Reviews
Enter young Alan Lewrie, gulled into a commision on an East Indiaman with a hidden agenda of retribution against French privateers.
Alan, like most young men, keeps his brain in his groin and finds no shortage of willing bed-partners; but this lascivity leads to problems, the least of which is a pregnant maid. On the run, even 4th luff on the Indiaman looks an attractive prospect, with the chance to make money and a name for himself, but as they arrive in Calcutta, the past catches up with him.
He is thus privy to news that the rest of the young officers are denied, causing jealousy and unrest in the gunroom.
Mr.Lambdin strives to convey accents with a quaint use of spelling and punctuation - it usually works, but sometimes is a trifle heavy going. Otherwise, apart from one or two slips, the plot rolls along very nicely. There is initially markedly little naval action - but there is plenty of intrigue and double-dealing to keep one guessing all the way through. However, when the action does start, the below-decks detail is extremely well described, educating the reader in the minutiae of the proceedings.
I am not fond of the detailed amorous interludes, which do nothing for the plot, only rubbing in the fact that Alan is human and prey to all the vices that the world has to offer, to my mind a subtle hint works better than a blow-by-blow description which easily turns salacious if not handled well.
Having read most of the other authors in this genre, I can say that Mr.Lambdin is definitely not near the bottom of the list - as I read more, he may rise alongside Richard Woodman, James Nelson & Patrick O'Brien in my estimation.
I suggest you start reading as early in the series as you can. Start with 'The King's Coat' (if available, it might be out of print), move on through 'The French Admiral', 'The King's Commission', 'The King's Privateer', 'The Gun Ketch' and 'HMS Cockrel'. 'For King and Country' is a trilogy that begins where the protaganist begins to settle down and contains 'The King's Commission', The King's Privateer' and 'The Gun Ketch'. It will be interesting to see how the author handles the young man coming of age. That telling of that kind of transition is what will really determine if the author is as good as he appears to be.
Most recent customer reviews
I am on my thirteenth novel by Lambdin and have been very happy with the series, this book was a little slow moving, but I will continue to the end of the series.Published on May 21 2013 by Kevin Ballard
This was a drop in quality in the series so far. The first three and H.M.S. Cockerel were better. In "Privateer", the story tends to wander from the focus that was a... Read morePublished on March 15 2001 by Scott Blake
For sheer feel, this is the best of the Lewrie lot. Lewrie alternates between rage and panic and indecision, just like real people. Read morePublished on Jan. 21 2000 by John D. Beatty
Lambdin continues to extract the very best and most accurate of detail from the 18th century naval services. The technical detail exceeds C.S. Read morePublished on March 29 1998
I certainly hope that Edward.Lulie@kis.net is wrong about no new books being planned in this series. Read morePublished on Oct. 21 1997