November 1879 - April 1880
It's November 1879 and on a broad river deep in the heart of South America, a flotilla of paddle steamers thrashes slowly upstream. It is laden with troops, horses and artillery, and intent on conquest and revenge. Ahead lies a commercial empire that was wrested from a British consortium in a bloody revolution. Now the investors are determined to recoup their losses and are funding a vicious war to do so. Nicholas Dawlish, is playing a leading role in the expedition. But as brutal land and river battles mark its progress upriver, and as both sides inflict and endure ever greater suffering, stalemate threatens. And Dawlish finds himself forced to make a terrible ethical choice if he is to return to Britain with some shreds of integrity remaining…
The Dawlish Chronicles feature a naval hero who is more familiar with steam, breech-loaders and torpedoes than with sails, carronades and broadsides. The series, which commenced with Britannia's Wolf, is in the great tradition of the Napoleonic-era naval fiction of Forester, Kent, O'Brian and Pope, but is set in the late nineteenth-century, as Britain's Empire approached its apogee. In this period old enemies were still a threat, new players were joining the ranks of the Great Powers, and the potential for local conflict to escalate into general war – even world war - was never absent. Britain’s ability to project force rapidly and decisively on a global scale was assured by a Royal Navy that was in transition as new technologies emerged at an unprecedented rate. But force alone was often inappropriate and conflicts had often to be resolved by guile and by proxy. It is in this world of change and uncertainty that Nicholas Dawlish, always resourceful, sometimes ruthless, occasionally self-doubting, must contend for the advancement and happiness he hungers for.
Author: Antoine Vanner
Title: Britannia's Reach
Series: The Dawlish Chronicles
First Published by: CreateSpace
Date: 25 January 2014