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Honorable Company


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About the Author

Allan Mallinson is a serving cavalry officer in the British army and the author of Light Dragoons, a history of British cavalry. He lives with his wife and two daughters in Rome, where he is military attach .


This second installment (after A Close Run Thing) in Mallinson's swashbuckling adventure series details the escapades of Dragoon Captain Matthew Hervey in 1816 India. Mallinson, a British cavalry officer himself, writes with the color and romance of a lancer and the slashing violence of a dragoon. After his heroics at Waterloo, Hervey is assigned as a junior aide-de-camp to the Duke of Wellington. Eager to avoid occupation duty in France, the young soldier is thrilled to be sent on a secret mission to India, a land dominated by the British-controlled Honorable East India Company. What Hervey does not understand at first is that his mission is not what it seems: rather than gather intelligence regarding the military strengths and intentions of several bickering Indian states, he is meant to advance Wellington's personal fortunes. Hervey's journey to the small state of Chintal is filled with peril and betrayal, but the stakes are raised once he reaches the rajah's elegant court. Aided by the robust and much-scarred Lieutenant Locke of the Royal Marines, Hervey battles marauders, a sepoy mutiny and an invading army's heavy artillery, and questions his own role as he finds himself deviating from his official orders. This is a rousing tale of conspiracy, double-crossings and bloody slaughter, and Hervey is an enduring hero, a young officer with brains and courage, and just a little self-doubt. (Dec. 5) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.

As one reads this book, two authors come to mind: because the opening chapters are set at sea, one is reminded of Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey-Maturin books. Then, once the action shifts to India, one thinks of Paul Scott and his "Raj Quartet." The action takes place just after Waterloo (about 1816), and many of the incidents are based on real events. A spy like O'Brian's Stephen Maturin, Matthew Hervey is sent to India by the Duke of Wellington to assess the political situation. When he arrives at the court of the Rajah of Chintal, Hervey realizes that the war here is fought in a subtler wayDwith covert actions and money rather than battlefront tactics. As he struggles to keep his wits about him, he is drawn deeper into the intrigue surrounding the court. The characters are well drawn, especially Hervey, his friend Locke, and the Rajah, and the well-researched narrative supplies the reader with punctilious detail about such topics as English military attitudes in India. Indeed, it is unusual to have (as we do here) a bibliography included with a work of fiction. This entertaining work will appeal to readers of historical novels everywhere. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 8/00.]DFred M. Gervat, Concordia Coll., Bronxville, NY Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.

"When is a military adventure novel every bit as good as a history book, with the added pleasure for the reader of living it vicariously through the eyes, mind, heart and soul of an English cavalry officer in the early 19th century? When it is written by Allan Mallinson."
-- The Wall Street Journal

"A marvelous read, paced like a well-balanced symphony ... full of surprises and excitement."
-- The Times

"First-rate historical fiction."
-- Booklist "A rousing tale of conspiracy [and] double-crossings ... Hervey is an enduring hero."
-- Publishers Weekly Look for Allan Mallinson's A Close Run Thing Available wherever Bantam Books are sold

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