GEORGE HART just wants to serve his Queen and honour his family.
It's not that simple. BASTARD He doesn't know his father, only that he's a pillar of the Establishment.
His beloved mother is half Irish, half Zulu. ZULU In a Victorian society rife with racism and prejudice, George's dark skin spells trouble to his regimental commander. WARRIOR But George has soldiering in his blood - the only question is what he's really fighting for: ancestry or Empire.
In the heat of battle he must decide ...
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 480 pages, maps
- Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton General Division
- Publication Date: 12/11/2009
- Category: Historical adventure
- ISBN: 9780340953648
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Review by Helenliz
This is written by a man more known for being a military historian (seen him on documentaries a few times - quite interesting & engaging) making a first foray into fiction. As you might expect, the military details are all down pat and it makes for an almost convincing read. George Hart is an outsider. He's the illegitimate son of a high ranking military official (not named) and an actress who is, herself, half Zulu, half Irish. Interesting mixture. He's been trough the standard British establishment upbringing, but while performing well was never one of the "in" crowd. He joins the army, but after a certain contretemps with the CO, resigns and heads to South Africa to make his fortune. He arrives just as the tensions in natal between the settlers and the Zulu are rising, and ends up in the local cavalry volunteers. He then gets closely involved in the invasion of Zululand, the battles of Isandlwana and Rourke's Drift. having read (a while ago, I admit) a comprehensive account of the Zulu nation and the war with the British, the facts presented were pretty sound. The action was pacy and the whole thing hung together OK. the only thing you could quibble with was the way he seemed to get about almost too much, seemed to get into too much trouble and have just too many escapades. but that's a minor quibble when the rest of it worked OK as a story. The acknowledgements at the end was interesting, as he owes a debt to Flashman - who I keep seeing in the library, but have never yet read. Maybe this will be the shove I need in that direction.