The Loyalist's Son I've just finished the first installment (The Loyalist's Son) and my initial reaction is: too bad ... it had potential ... I hope the second one improves.
Yes, I'm going to read the second one: the first was just good enough to make me want to see how the story continues ... and the second book is just as thin as the first one, so I won't waste too much time on it.

So what's the problem? I think it can be summed up with two words: too short. It contained all the elements I look for in this genre: ship-handling, sea battles, one land battle, and accurate history (despite the author's statement that he took a few liberties with some details). The problem was that the characters and the events needed more fleshing out, with the result that I never had a chance to come to care about them.

So, we have:

1. the commander of the British brig, the Weasel, being set up as the villain of the piece, but with no explanation of his motivations until right at the end.
2. A snivelling bully of a midshipman miraculously transforming into a mature leader in the space of a couple paragraphs, it seems.
3. [Spoiler deleted - available on the forum]
4. Several characters that should have been major players in the story but were instead quickly drawn and then brushed aside

Now if the author had been intending to convey the idea that war makes boys quickly grow into men and causes events and decisions to race by at break-neck speed, I can accept that. However, I think other authors have successfully conveyed these themes while still giving us characters that we can care about/despise as the case may be, as well as building sufficient tension to keep us at the edge of our chairs.

So, go into this expecting a rather long short story rather than a novel, and you won't regret overmuch the time you spent with it.

Description of: The Loyalist's Son

Author: Charles D. White

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