The British Empire's power seems unchallengeable. But now a group of revolutionaries threaten that power's economic basis. Their weapon is the invention of a naïve genius, their sense of grievance is implacable and their leader is already proven in the crucible of war. Protected by powerful political and business interests, conventional British military and naval power cannot touch them.
A daring act of piracy drags the ambitious British naval officer, Nicholas Dawlish, into this deadly maelstrom. Drawn in too is his wife Florence, for whom a glimpse of a half-forgotten face evokes memories of earlier tragedy. For both a nightmare lies ahead, made worse by a weakness Dawlish never suspected he had. Amid the wealth and squalor of America's Gilded Age, and on a fever-ridden island ruled by savage tyranny, and manipulated ruthlessly from London by the shadowy Admiral Topcliffe, Nicholas and Florence Dawlish must make very strange alliances if they are to survive – and prevail.
Britannia's Shark continues Nicholas Dawlish's story. Daring and initiative have already bought him rapid advancement in the Royal Navy and he hungers for more. But can the price be too high, not just for himself but for the woman he loves? As the third novel of the series Britannia's Shark follows on the adventures of Nicholas Dawlish in Turkey in 1877/78 (Britannia's Wolf) and in Paraguay in 1880 (Britannia's Reach). The British Empire is reaching its apogee in this late Victorian period. The Age of Sail is dying slowly and Dawlish is building his career in the new era of steam, ironclads, heavy guns and torpedoes that is replacing it. This is against a background of the growth of the British and German Empires, the blundering progress of Russia, the decline of Austro-Hungary, French colonial adventures in Africa, Madagascar and Indo-China, the emergence of Japan as a major industrial, military and naval power, and the United States developing, almost unnoticed, into an industrial and economic titan. There is little open confrontation between these powers at this time, but their rivalries are often played out by proxies, just as the Communist and Western blocks did during the Cold War. And that's the world in which Dawlish must make his career.
Author: Antoine Vanner
Title: Britannia's Shark
Series: The Dawlish Chronicles
First Published by: Old Salt Press
Date: 13 November 2014