Well, he's done it again! The eagerly anticipated fifth instalment of Alaric Bond's 'Fighting Sail' series is with us at last and it is another corker! Set at the conclusion of the Irish uprising of 1798, with Britain's army brutally putting down the rebellion on land, The Patriot's Fate follows Wolf Tone's attempt to bring a French invasion force to bear while Royal Navy elements desperately seek to prevent them from landing. It is a story of cat-and-mouse on the high seas culminating in a dramatic climax.
As before in this series, the story is told from the viewpoint of several characters rather than just a single hero: most of these are already familiar from earlier books, but we also follow the exploits of a contingent of Irish 'rebels' in equal measure. Bond's skill is to shift perspective between this relatively large cast without in the least disrupting the flow or disorientating the reader, effortlessly weaving these multiple elements into a slow-boiling narrative that informs and entertains in equal measure as tension builds.
Bond's mastery of story-building and characterization is matched by his authoritative handling of the complexities of shipboard life, a problem faced by all who write about sailing ships. Technical terms cannot be avoided, but Bond deftly steers a path through them, and should anyone be unsure, a useful glossary is appended to explain most of them.
The Patriot's Fate is an un-put-downable 'page turner' that should establish Alaric Bond as one of the best historic naval fiction writers currently active. It doesn't get much better than this! Highly recommended.
Description of: The Patriot's Fate
Author: Alaric Bond