Rumours of War Paperback – May 13 2008
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"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.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
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.