A Call to Arms : (Matthew Hervey 4) Paperback
India 1819 - Matthew Hervey is charged with raising a new troop, and organising transport for India - for he, his men and their horses are to set sail with immediate effect.
What Hervey and his greenhorn soldiers cannot know is that in India they will face a trial for which they are ill prepared.
A large number of Burmese war-boats are assembled near Chittagong, and the only way to thwart their advance involves a hazardous march through the jungle.
Soon Hervey and his troop are in the midst of hot and bloody action once again..."The book picks up a pace that mirrors a cavalry charge ...Hervey continues to grow in stature, while Mallinson himself continues to delight." - "Observer".
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 384 pages, maps
- Publisher: Transworld Publishers Ltd
- Publication Date: 15/03/2003
- Category: Historical adventure
- ISBN: 9780553813500
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Review by Artymedon
This book is part of a serie and should be read after [[A Close Run Thing]]. A light dragoon, Matthew Hervey has resold his Commission after Waterloo. In Rome with his sister he meets by accident the English poet Shelley when during an altercation at a post office, he breaks the tediousness of having to wait in line when he rescues the famous poet against the savage agression of a man who cannot bear Shelley's alleged Atheism. After a memorable incident during which he fights alongside Italian Carbonari- a group that fought the 1815 repression very similar to the "Terreur Blanche" in France - to cooly repell an Austrian troopers' bayonet charge, Hervey returns to England, since he now has a fresh taste for battle, to buy back a Captaincy, find his former sergeant and recruit what Wellington called "the scum of the earth". He also has a memorable evening at Apsley House during which he estimates its staircase Napoleon classic nude statue covered with a fig leaf at approximately twice the actual size. A lady remarks that had this bronze been made by Michelangelo, the fig leaf would not have been used. He then heads for India - a six month Indiaman voyage - with his new regiment commander. More sensitive than Sharpe's book to its intellectual time period, including philosophy, politics, poetry and architecture; less action oriented than the famous rifleman of Bernard Cornwell, this book does make you want to read more work from this fine writer. When the action arrives, however, it is thrilling. How can one compare anyhow Cavalry to Infantry?