Seth Hunter – The Price of Glory
Length: 448 pages
Genre: Historical Fiction
Started: 21 May 2016
Finished: 29 June 2016
Where did it come from? Purchased used from Amazon.
Why do I have it? I requested the fourth book from Early Reviewers without realizing that I’d missed the third book, so I figured I should get caught up.
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 18 May 2016.
For the Brits, the French
Revolution was only
the start of trouble.
Summary: In post-Revolutionary France, the British government is trying to send aid to the remaining pockets of royalists, and Captain Nathan Peake and the Unicorn are dispatched to the Brittany coast to help provide that aid. Nathan then finds himself in Paris, posing as an American to uncover information of vital importance to the British crown, and finding himself enmeshed in the treacherous world of Parisian society and politics, on the eve of it being turned upside down by a young upstart known as Napoleon Bonaparte. After the counter-Revolution is put down, Nathan returns to the Unicorn and heads to the Mediterranean to join Captain Nelson to save the treasures of Genoa from their impending capture by the French.
Review: My summary of this book covers more of the book than I usually do, and probably feels pretty disjointed. The reason for this is that this book was incredibly disjointed, such that I can barely remember what it’s about, let alone pick out a single narrative thread that runs through the whole thing. I guess the main thread is that Nathan is trying to find Sara, who was sent to the guillotine during the Terror but is rumored to have escaped and now living along the coast that the Unicorn is patrolling. But that’s just something running in the background of his mind for most of the novel, and only really comes into play in the last chapter or two. The rest of the book is broken up into three sections, Brittany, Paris, and Genoa, and while each of these set-pieces is okay on its own, they didn’t flow together very well or make any kind of a coherent whole. This was a problem with the previous book as well, although in that book I was more able to enjoy each of the pieces well enough. In this book, for some reason, I never really got engaged in most of the little individual chunks, found myself skimming through the naval battles, and just had a really hard time getting and staying involved in the story and the characters, to the point where I could set this book down for several weeks at a time and not feel any inclination to pick it up again. 2.5 out of 5 stars.
Recommendation: I’ve got a review copy of the next book in the series, so I’ll be pressing on (and it’s the main reason I didn’t DNF this one), but if that weren’t the case I feel like I’ve given this series enough of a shot to improve over my impressions of the first book, and it hasn’t done so, so I’ll be looking elsewhere for future naval adventure.
Other Reviews: Couldn’t find any at the Book Blogs Search Engine.
Have you reviewed this book? Leave a comment with the link and I’ll add it in.
First Line: “You will feel no pain,” they said. “It is like the tickle of a feather or a lover’s kiss.”
Vocab: (see the whole list)
- p. 23: ““Well,” declared Nathan, lowering his Dolland glass but keeping his observation for Tully’s private ear, “if those guns have not been fired in anger for as long as the commodore believes, it can only be because no one has been fool enough to provoke them.”” – John Dollond was a optician and instrument maker, and in context, this means a hand-held telescope, although the term isn’t used very often at all, according to Google.
- p. 266: “This talk of money made Ouvrard seem much older of a sudden and for all his youthful good looks and the profusion of his brown locks, there was something of the Bicknell Coney about him, even in his voice which took on a dry, almost gnomic quality.” – Marked by aphorisms; aphoristic.
- p. 290: “Nathan counted 36 guns as they circled round the appropriately named Cour du Carrousel, mostly 6-pounders with limbers for powder and shot.” – Gutters or channels on each side of a ship’s keelson that drain bilge water into the pump well.
- p. 404: “At first glance he thought it was a simple donjon: a fat, round tower with a pointed roof like a witch’s hat, but then he saw that there was another fat, round tower on the far side, flanked by two wings with smaller, sharper towers at each corner.” – The fortified main tower of a castle; a keep.
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