Hodder & Stoughton

"Royal Navy and Maritime Book Reviews" Provided by Rob Jerrard

Edition: 1st
Format: Hardback
Author: Jack Hight
ISBN: 9781848542945
Publishers: John Murray (Hodder & Stoughton)
Price: £12.99
Publication Date:
Publisher's Title Information

The year is 1453. For more than a thousand years the mighty walls of Constantinople have protected the capital of the Eastern Roman Empire, the furthest outpost of Christianity. But now endless ranks of Turkish warriors cover the plains before them, their massive cannons trained on the ramparts. It is the most fearsome force the world has ever seen. No European army will help: the last crusaders were cut to pieces by the Turks on the plains of Kosovo.

Constantinople is on its own. And treachery is in the air.

Three people will struggle to determine the fate of an empire: the young Turkish Sultan, returned from exile and desperate to prove his greatness; a stubborn Byzantine princess, sworn to protect her city; and a mercenary captain with a personal score to settle. But of them, it is the hardened soldier Giovanni Longo who will face the worst choice: just as he prepares to make his final stand, he finds he has something to live for after all.

the intrigues within the Emperor's household to the Sultan's harem and the savage fights on the battlements, Siege is a full-blooded historical adventure novel in the tradition of Warrior of Rome, Pilgim or Crusade.

The Author

Jack Hight is an American historian with a special interest in the mediaeval era. His fascination with the fall of Constantinople dates from his undergraduate years at Harvard. Jack holds an MA in History from the University of Chicago. He lives in Washington, where he is completing his doctorate.

Hart of Empire
Edition: 1st
Format: Hardback
Author: Saul David
ISBN: 9780340953655
Publishers: Hodder & Stoughton
Price: £12.99
Publication Date: 5th August 2010
Publisher's Title Information

Back in England following his heroics in the Zulu Wars, George Hart is summoned to a new adventure when Prime Minister Disraeli asks him to go on a secret mission to Afghanistan, where the British fear Muslim extremists are poised to overthrow the local ruler and threaten the jewel in the Imperial crown, India.
Hart has severe misgivings. Always an outsider in British society, he doesn`t like Whitehall`s arrogant way of meddling in other people`s religious and political affairs, but desperate for money, he takes the job and descends the Khyber Pass into a strange and violent land.
When his warnings are ignored by the pompous British Resident in Kabul, a terrible massacre occurs and soon Hart is on the run with a beautiful Afghan princess, in a race to prevent an uprising and head off a catastrophic British invasion.

More Reviews on Zulu Hart

'Gems like this are too rare. I was hooked in ten pages.' Conn Iggulden on ZULU HART
'Ahistorian, nowmasterly story-teller' Bernard Cornwell on ZULU HART
'David is a popular historian with a rare talent . . . An unashamed crowd-pleaser with a compelling, sexy hero who could give Cornwell's Sharpe a run for his money.' The Times on ZULU HART
'A Victorian adventure as big as the veldt and chewier than buffalo biltong . . . real figures of the period are endowed with motive, intent and dialogue that may be fictitious but are entirely convincing' Sunday Telegraph on ZULU HART
'Let's hope that Saul David's new character will be reappearing . . .terrific adventure' Rodney Troubridge on ZULU HART

Zulu Hart
Edition: First
Format: Hardback
Author: Saul David
ISBN: 9780340953624
Publishers: Hodder & Stoughton
Price: £12.99
Publication Date: 2009
Publisher's Title Information

There were two things that crossed my mind when I first saw the title, the film 'Zulu' and the author CH Rolph (AKA Bill Hewitt) one-time Chief Inspector of the City of London Police. In his autobiography, 'Living Twice', Victor Golanz, 1974, he writes that his father had a romantic admiration for the Zulus, even though they had killed his father (a Private in the South Wales Borderers) the 24th Regiment of Foot at the Battle of Isandhlwana near Rorke's Drift on 22 January 1879 and he grew up to regard that date as more important than 1066. Bill wrote that the best account he ever read, was that given by the late RF Delderfield in his 'Theirs was the Kingdom', Hodder and Stoughton, 1971.
This book really captured me from the first chapter, I read it quickly because it was so exciting and informative. My knowledge of the Zulu Wars was limited and I wondered how close to the truth parts may be; and here the author helps us by including notes at the end. He has taken one or two (that usually means more than two) liberties with the historical record.
The author claims to have 'Stayed true to the spirit of the person' and to that end I conducted a little research into Private Henry Hook, who is portrayed in the film as an insubordinate malingerer and drunkard. According to the Wikepedia website, he had been awarded Good Conduct Pay shortly prior to the battle and reports suggest he was a tea-totaller and a model soldier. Unfortunately, (unless robbing the dead is an acceptable fact on the battlefield) in the book he is portrayed as a petty thief, because after the battle at Rorke's Drift, as our hero regains consciousness he finds Private Hook trying to pull his signet ring off his finger, 'Unhand me you thieving rascal, I am sorry sir….I reckoned you were dead. So you thought to rob me?' Poor old Hook (Alfred Henry Hook VC' 6 August 1850 - 12 March 1905) What did he do to deserve all this adverse publicity? Incidentally his own account of the battle makes very good reading and proves there were many more men who deserved VCs that day. I think James Booth who played Hook in the film should have been awarded an Oscar.
Whatever the truth behind it, the hero of this book is woven into the story of Isandhlwana and Rorke's Drift and it is a gripping adventure from start to finish. I hope that Saul David continues the story of Zulu Hart.
Rob Jerrard

2nd Review

Thank you for allowing me to read this book, it was absolutely marvellous, I couldn't put it down, what other books has he written, I will look about for them, I had a very late night, I just kept reading it because I was fascinated, Ralph Lawson, Budleigh Salterton

Now available in paperback
Praise for Zulu Hart

'David's novel is brimming with interesting historical detail, and where his portraits are of actual historical figures, they convince totally. It is an informative and likeable read.' Literary Review
'David is a popular historian with a rare talent for turning a history lesson into a rattling good yarn. This is an unashamed crowd-pleaser with a compelling, sexy hero who could give Cornwell's Sharpe a run for his money.' The Times

'David knows his stuff, historically, and there is much to admire in his evocation of 19th Century warfare.' Mail on Sunday

`The details of the 1879 campaign are superbly laid out, and this is a real education.'Telegraph

'For a well-established historian of the Victorian army, turning one's hand from non-fiction to fiction is no easy matter.Saul David, however, crosses that bridge highly competently. This is a fast-moving and succinct account of the machinations and betrayals that surrounded that fateful day in 1879.' Daily Mail