Form Line of Battle! by Alexander Kent

by admin on July 18, 2010

Form Line of Battle! is the tenth volume in theForm Line of Battle, by Alexander Kent Richard Bolitho saga. Alexander Kent now places Bolitho back into the thick of sea warfare, right where we want him. The year is 1793 and the revolutionary fervor sweeping France threatens to infect all of Europe. To protect her own interests, the British crown has embarked upon a tactic of containment that they hope will keep the radical anti-monarchist sentiments from contaminating the minds of the English. This is a tactic not favored by the new French Republic, and war is declared.

In June Captain Richard Bolitho takes command of the Hyperion, a seventy-four-gun ship of the line in Gibraltar. With him is his friend and coxswain, John Allday. Bolitho is eager to get back to duty against Revolutionary France. He sails to join Lord Hood in the occupation of Toulon. Beneath the Mediterranean sun, and often in sight of the enemy coast, Bolitho and his tired old ship face one conflict after another. When at last the ill-fated campaign in Toulon collapses, the Hyperion, outgunned and outnumbered, takes her rightful place in the line of battle.

It’s all here; cutting out actions, land assaults, night actions, fire ships, nasty sword play and ships of the line delivering thundering broadsides. Form Line of Battle is a classic action romance. The battle scenes are very exciting but also violent and realistic. Men die horribly or are mutilated painfully and Kent doesn’t hide it. He does not glorify the war or its deeds.

Form Line of Battle is one of the best of the books in the Richard Bolitho series. It full of fast paced action, and very interesting to read. The fleet action is splendidly described. An excellent nautical fiction novel!

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