The Patriot's Fate (英語) ペーパーバック – 2012/8/27
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Alaric Bond is up there with CS Forester and Patrick O'Brien for thrilling and utterly real naval stories In the Patriot's Fate he has combined historical fact with compelling fiction to produce another gripping story in his 'Fighting Sail series. 1798 and Ireland rises up against years of repression and injustice. Rebels, supported by a mighty French invasion fleet, prepare to claim their land but find themselves countered by a powerful British battle squadron. Two friends and former allies, separated by chance and circumstance, witness developments from opposing sides while storms, political intrigue and personal dynamics abound. In The Patriot's Fate Bond maintains a relentless pace that climaxes in thrilling naval action and noble sacrifice.
Many novels in the genre follow the model used by C.S. Forester, Patrick O'Brian and so many others, where the focus is the career of a single Royal Navy officer. The Patriot's Fate, like the other books in Bond's Fighting Sail series, is told through multiple perspectives, ranging from the ship's captain, to the junior officers and warrants, to Jack Tars and the ship's boys. The approach gives a much broader sense of what is going on aboard ship. It works particularly well in The Patriot's Fate because it allows parallel and overlapping story lines that keep the novel moving along briskly.
In The Patriot's Fate, Bond has been careful in choosing his history. The climax of the book is the Battle of Tory Island in October of 1798. Just over two months before, an admiral named Nelson ruined Napoleon's plans in Egypt at Aboukir Bay. The famous Battle of the Nile, as it has become known, is completely and refreshingly absent from Patriot's Fate. The story of that battle is wonderful but it has been retold so often, in so many other novels, that as a reader I felt grateful to be taken elsewhere. While the Battle of Tory Island was far smaller that the Battle of the Nile, it was no less consequential, leading directly to the Treaty of Union between England and Ireland.
In 1798, the Society of United Irishmen, lead by the charismatic Wolfe Tone, is ready to rise again against the British. The French are again assisting the Irish by sending ships and troops. As a French fleet of troopships and men-of-war bears down on the coast of Ireland, a single British frigate must delay them until help arrives to stop the invasion. By the vagaries of chance and heritage, friends and shipmates find themselves on opposite sides of the conflict. The sense of conflicting loyalty to friends, country and cause is gripping as the guns begin to fire.
Bond is especially good at creating believable and engaging characters. Readers of his past books will be pleased to be reunited with Captain Sir Richard Banks, Lieutenant Tom King, the Mannings and the unfortunate Irishman, Micheal Crowley, among others. New readers will be pleased to make their acquaintance. New characters like Betsey, the surgeon's wife, clever and capable, if just a touch lacking in virtue, are also great fun.
The Patriot's Fate is an exciting tale that is extremely difficult to put down. It left me sorry that it had ended and hungry for more. Highly recommended.
As usual in Bond's stories, we meet new characters and embrace familiar, old ones. He cleverly places one of his Irish characters upon the French ship Hoche, so the reader experiences action from both the Irish and the British sides throughout the narrative.
Also like Bond's other books, The Patriot's Fate moves smoothly along at a pleasant pace, and the final battle plays out over the last quarter of the story, keeping readers who prefer a good sea battle happy and satisfied.
I read the e-book version of the novel, and if I have one complaint, it is in the number of typos throughout the text. While I have certainly read e-books with more such errors, running into them always jars me out of the story, and thus annoys me.