Rosepoint Publishing: Five Stars
It is 1800 and Jacob Fletcher’s plans for a career in trade are once again dashed by the allure of ocean adventures.
Sent to America as a roving ambassador, Fletcher finds himself caught up in one of his most demanding challenges yet, fighting against the robust French Navy. It is during this epic battle that Fletcher first sees the Blue Star, a diamond to surpass all others.
Determined to find the source of the diamond, Fletcher embarks on a journey through Africa, where he finds himself entangled in a new and dangerous enterprise: providing weaponry, and fighting side by side with Prince Inyathi, the Buffalo, a Zulu leader, who is battling against the Arabs. Fearsome Zulus, witchcraft and even love stands in Fletcher’s way as he navigates the diamond mines and works to secure safe passage back to England.
This action-packed adventure is the sixth book in the Fletcher series.
Late 1700’s and early 1800’s were turbulent times. English cities are overcrowded and dreary. The royalty and nobility owned everything and controlled all. The only way for a person to get ahead was to join the military and put themselves in danger. Fletcher had joined the navy and risen quickly in the ranks. He is commissioned with a very fine vessel, and is to take her on her maiden voyage down the coast of Africa.
The French are basically trying to blockade English ports and ships. The Spanish also pose a serious threat to England’s world exploration, therefore, Admiral Fletcher needed to be wary of both countries! The French had an additional advantage in that their ships were faster and their guns bigger.
The crew loved to sail with Admiral Fletcher. He was lucky to have a pilot who knew some of the more treacherous areas of the waters off Africa. This would prove to be a great advantage as the story unfolds. Admiral Fletcher is mesmerized by a beautiful blue stone which is masterfully cut and reflects rainbows of incredible light. Their quest is to find the source of the stones and thereby obtain unimaginable wealth.
The Zulu warriors are tall, lithe and very well trained. Word of their diamond mine has circled the globe and the blue diamond had been fashioned in Cairo. The English are looking for more of these large stones and the wealth that will come with the find! The Zulu women are tall, slender, and of exquisite beauty. Therein lies an excellent love story as a side event in the telling.
This story held my interest and I found myself pressed to find out the ending. I would suggest it to all who want to enjoy a riotous sea tale. 5 stars – C.E. Williams
We received a complimentary review copy of this book from the author and publisher through NetGalley that in no way influenced this review. These are his honest opinions.
Genre: Historical African Fiction, Historical French Fiction, Historical European Fiction
Publisher: Lume Books
Print Length: 376 pages
Publication Date: December 9, 2021
Source: Publisher and NetGalley
Title Link(s): Fletcher and the Blue Star [Amazon]
Barnes and Noble
I’m two-times delighted to say that two new books of mine, are now online. The first is ‘Fletcher and the Samurai’, so it will not require the insight of Sherlock Holmes to guess the country in which much of the action is set.
So Fletcher sails on, reluctantly climbing the promotion ladder, and always hoping that some day, some how, he will get out of King George’s bloody navy, and into a career in trade. That’s Fletcher: the only sea-faring hero who doesn’t want to be at sea at all.
The second book is ‘Traitor of Treasure Island’, and again the title is the clue to what’s in the book. It’s a new take on the classic Robert Louis Stevenson account of buried treasure, except that – and may Stevenson for give me (which he won’t) – I have turned the boy hero Jim Hawkins into a very naughty boy indeed, who never goes to church on Sundays because he is busy with the trollops of Bristol. So take note that unlike ‘Treasure Island’ my book is not for children. There’s plenty of seafaring adventure and two whole love stories.
Meanwhile try ‘Games in Londinium’ set in Roman Britannia in AD 100, giving the further adventures of Ikaros of Apollonis, an intellectually brilliant Greek, once a nobleman and a soldier but now a slave under Rome. Together with his friend Morganus, senior centurion of the 20th Legion, Ikaros faces a threat to the lives of every Roman in the province, and must discover who is behind this menace even as the killings begin.
On the way, Ikaros, who is profoundly ignorant of Roman Gladiatorial games, discovers to his surprise that it is rare for Gladiators to be killed in the arena. The fights – exactly like modern boxing – are displays of martial art, conducted under strict rules, with referees to control each bout, such that the usual outcome of a fight is that both men walk off with honour, even if wounded.
I plan a third ‘Londinium’ book when I have completed my current project which is writing a 5th Jacob Fletcher adventure: ‘Fletcher and the Samurai’. Fletcher is, of course, the only ‘Hornblower genre’ hero who does not want to be in the Navy at all, and the books explain his reasoning.
You might also like to, try my Thief Catcher’ (Georgian detective story), ‘Agent of Death’ (WW2 super-weapon), ‘Wayfinder’ (Viking Saga), or the ‘Flint and Silver’ trilogy which explains how Long John Siver lost his leg and why they buried the treasure (but be warned that these are for adults not children!).
Those are my latest books, but I’ve been making up stories ever since I spent half an hour each day walking from Wilmot Street, Bethnal Green, East London (where I lived) to the Central Foundation Boys’ school. And then another half an hour each day walking back. The bus was quicker, but I walked, and my imagination ran free to make up stories because I have a fountain in my head, which never stops.
Thanks for reading this far. And I hope you like the books because I loved writing them.
All best, John Drake
©2021 CE Williams – V Williams