1882. Lieutenant General Sir Garnet Wolseley is under pressure.
News of an uprising against the British powers in Egypt has reached London, and he must react decisively and forcefully.
But there is little time to assemble an army and, for his campaign to succeed, he needs someone on the ground to assess the movements and strength of the Egyptian rebels. Fresh from a scouting mission in South Africa, former army captain Simon Fonthill is kicking his heels in Brecon.When the request from Wolseley comes, Fonthill and his servant, '352' Jenkins, accept the assignment, fully aware of the dangers they will face in hostile terrain without back-up.
But they could never have foreseen the bloodshed that awaits them in the desert at Tel el Kebir...
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 448 pages, map
- Publisher: Headline Publishing Group
- Publication Date: 18/09/2008
- Category: Historical fiction
- ISBN: 9780755327218
- EPUB from £5.99
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Review by DWWilkin
I recently read another author, a historian trying his hand at fiction, in the same time period of the British Colonial era. Wilcox and his Fonthill and Jenkins team take us further and with more storytelling ability than the other.These two are a joy, the same as Macro and Cato are in Ancient Rome. They get into scrapes, and they get out of them and around them swirl the trappings of the British Empire. This time out we are invading Egypt to save the Suez Canal. And the picture we are given from fighting the rebellious Egyptians to the shelling of Alexandria is a spot on feeling. With that is the historical characters we meet, just a few, but enough to give us a glimpse of the era and society. We also see a great many fictitious characters who build up the rest of theatrical for us. What we don't get is the need to meet so many true historical characters that we disbelieve that our heroes could meet so many.That perhaps is the success that this author knows to do. Give us enough to know it is historical, but not make it so far fetched that we know our heroes would never meet every legend that existed.The tales of the battles are well researched and the subplots that are added to round out our heroes are believable and well written also. We can believe that our main characters are growing and evolving and want to continue to find out more about them.This is going to be a reread.