Tuesday 4 March 2014

A reader's verdict - "The Best Naval Yarn I have read in years"

The second of the Dawlish Chronicles series, Britannia's Reach, has proved popular and I've been gratified by comments and questions received from readers (Keep them coming! They really help the writer - not just morale-wise, but in improving later books).
The Mesrutiyet - the ironclad  that Dawlish must fight to get command of

As I track the sales I am struck by the number of readers who have at the same time bought the first book in the series, Britannia's Wolf. The two books can be read independently but the when read together they convey more about the flow of Nicholas Dawlish's life and personal development. Britannia's Wolf meets him at the age of 32, an ambitious Royal Navy officer who embraces eagerly teh opportunity of secondment to the Ottoman Turkish navy as the contemporary Russo-Turkish War heads for a vicious climax. Dawlish expects to fight the Russians at sea - and he does, in hard and unforgiving combat - but he had not counted on the complications of palace intrigue, ethnic strife, marauding Cossacks and Bashi Bazooks, two heroic Englishwomen and an army collapsing in the depths of winter...

I was particularly gratified by a review posted on Amazon.com last month by an American reader, C.E.Ramsey of St.Louis. His review reads as below:

Britannia's Wolf by Antoine Vanner is the best naval yarn I have read in years. In 1877 Nicholas Dawlish turns down a safe but unpromising instructor position in the British Navy for a covert assignment in the Navy of the Ottoman Empire. This involves combat training of sailors, Marines, and eventually soldiers whom he must lead in battle against the invading Russian Empire, but first he must capture a powerful warship from his own side! And that's just the beginning of Dawlish's task to turn chaos into order while winning a series of lop-sided battles against enemies on both sides of the war. When final victory seems within his grasp on the war's eastern Black Sea front he and his now faithful men are switched to the war's Balkan theatre for the most treacherous and lop-sided confrontation of all and in which life of the courageous woman he loves is at risk. How Dawlish handles this predicament, can best be summed up in the words he gives to his lady, the fascinating Florence, during the heat of action,"Well done, Miss Morton."
And "Well done" to Antoine Vanner, whose second exciting book of the Dawlish epic, Britannia's Reach, arrived in the mail as I finished this review. I'm sure when I finish I'll say of it also, "Well Done Dawlish and well done again Antoine Vanner."

Two empires lock in a death-embrace: Turkish and Russian cavalry clash

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