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Louis A. Meyer – My Bonny Light Horseman

September 20, 2008

115. My Bonny Light Horseman: Being an Account of the Further Adventures of Jacky Faber in Love and War by L. A. Meyer (2008)
Bloody Jack, Book 6

Length: 436 pages

Genre: Historical Fiction; Young Adult

Started: 19 September 2008
Finished: 20 September 2008

Jacky Faber’s back
and she’s cross-dressing again
but this time on land.

Summary: All Jacky Faber wants is to live peacefully, building her shipping business and waiting for her her fiancé, Jaimy, to return to London from his stint with the Royal Navy. But, of course, Jacky Faber is seemingly unable to keep herself out of trouble. As this book opens, she’s captured by the British Intelligence to be returned to London to face charges of treason and piracy. However, her fortunes are never that clear, and after she faces a battle with French ships, a stay in a French prison, and the threat of Madame le Guillotine, she finds herself forced into the one job she finds most distasteful: spying for the British government. Set up first as a Parisian dancing girl, and then as a messenger in Napoleon’s army, she must fight to save her own skin, protect those she loves, and ultimately must decide where her true loyalties lie.

Review: Jacky Faber is easily one of the most unforgettable narrators I’ve ever had the pleasure to meet. It’s been about a year since I’d read the previous book in the series (Mississippi Jack, review here), but from the first paragraph I recognized Jacky’s distinctive and colorful voice, ringing out as clear as ever. The various men in her life don’t fare quite so well. They tend to fall in to one of a few molds: noble, honorable, and completely besotted with Jacky; older, wiser, and thoroughly charmed by Jacky; young, innocent, and completely awestruck by Jacky; or cruel, dishonorable, and out to get Jacky. The few characters who have been built up to have some additional dimensions over past books are sadly lacking for most of this one – I thought we didn’t get enough time with Jaimy, in particular. But Jacky is, by her own admission, happiest when she’s the center of the show, so that’s where she remains. Her adventures in My Bonny Light Horseman were good and adventurous, although they did have a little bit of the disconnect between sections that plagued earlier books. Also, I know there’s only so many nautical adventures one can have before they start getting repetitive, but seeing Jacky Faber on land for most of the book just didn’t feel quite right. 4 out of 5 stars.

Recommendation: A good, fun read, though we expect nothing less from Bloody Jack herself. This one isn’t quite as dependent on previous books as Mississippi Jack was, but it’s not really a stand-alone, either, and it would be a shame to start Jacky’s adventures anywhere but from the beginning.

This Review on LibraryThing | This Book on LibraryThing | This Book on Amazon

Links: The Official Website of Jacky Faber

Other Reviews: I realize this is a fairly new release (Sept. 1), but I could find scarce a trace of it on the other book blogs I checked. Did I miss your review? Let me know!

First Line: “Is it not a glorious day to be alive, Higgins?” I ask, sitting on the hatch of my fleet little schooner with my back to the aftermast and my legs sprawled out before me, looking up at the trim of the sails.

Vocab:

  • p. 33: ““This would be better done in my surgery, as the light here is too dim. The orlop is one deck up. Bring her there.”” – the lowermost of four or more decks above the space at the bottom of a hull.
    .
  • p. 90: “I lettered those words large on the front page, surrounded by entwined vines and flowers, interspersed with heraldic motifs – shrimps rampant and butterflies guardant with gules – on a field of light blue.” – red, in heraldic descriptions, indicated on a blazon by vertical lines.
    .
  • p. 98: ““No, what I will do is dive down and come up at the aft of the ship, under the sheer of the hull where I can’t be seen, and climb up on the rudder pintle and sit up there out of sight throughout that day until nightfall, and when we get close enough to the land and I can see the lights in the windows of cottages, then I will swim for it.”” – a pin or bolt, esp. one on which something turns, as the gudgeon of a hinge.
    .
  • p. 277: “As I get closer and closer to the grand encampment or bivouac, as the French would have it, I see more and more troops marching from all directions – Infantry, Fusiliers, Hussars, Grenadiers, Dragoons, Cuirassiers, Light Cavalry – there are soldiers everywhere, many pushing, pulling, or dragging what seems to be miles and miles of caissons bearing Napoléon’s famous artillery.” – A horse-drawn vehicle, usually two-wheeled, used to carry artillery ammunition and coffins at military funerals.
    .
  • p. 281: ““You, trade shakos with him! Don’t you think it might be good if you actually could see to fire at the enemy rather than looking at the inside of your hat?”” – a military cap in the form of a cylinder or truncated cone, with a visor and a plume or pompon.
    .
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4 Comments leave one →
  1. September 20, 2008 3:46 pm

    Sounds like a great series. Which one is first?

  2. September 20, 2008 3:54 pm

    The series goes:
    1) Bloody Jack
    2) Curse of the Blue Tattoo
    3) Under the Jolly Roger
    4) In the Belly of the Bloodhound
    5) Mississippi Jack
    6) My Bonny Light Horseman

    They really are a lot of fun, particularly if you like girl-disguised-as-a-boy books or nautical books, and they’re very quick reading for their size.

  3. me! permalink
    September 27, 2008 7:38 pm

    This series is really really good! i’ve read all of them and highly recomend them!

  4. miki permalink
    November 26, 2008 3:50 am

    THE SERIES ARE SO DAM GOOD I AM OBSESSED!!! They r by far my very favourite books ever read. I am SOOO excited for the 7th 1 to come ut, they are amazing!
    W0000T!

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