The seventeenth volume in the popular John Pearce Adventures set on the high seas
John Pearce discovers that Madrid plans to desert the British-led coalition and join the enemy. In company with Lord Langholm, he has taken a Spanish treasure ship. But a violent Atlantic westerly forces them into a deep bay overlooked by Spaniards, who have created a trap with cannon on the heights aimed at the narrow entrance.
Pearce must take the lead, exposed to plunging fire, lucky the guns do not quite have the range. Then, having succeeded, he must get Langholm’s frigate and the damaged Santa Leocadia through the same bottleneck. Only quick thinking and an act of sheer inspiration make it possible.
His orders take him via Gibraltar, then on to Admiral Jervis, who hates him, to warn of Spanish duplicity. Finally, Jervis sends him to Bastia in Corsica, where the Viceroy, Sir Gilbert Elliot, is seeking to hold the island for Britannia in the face of Napoleon’s successes in Italy.
In night actions, outnumbered on land and sea, Pearce must fight the Francophile Corsicans, who are arming themselves for an insurrection. Will he succeed, or will he, HMS Hazard, and the Pelicans pay the ultimate price of failure?
David Donachie was born in Edinburgh in 1944. He has always had an abiding interest in military history, including ancient Rome, the Middle Ages, the British navy of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and the clandestine services during the Second World War. He has more than fifty published novels to his credit, with over a million combined sales. David lives in Deal, the historic English seaport on the border of the English Channel and the North Sea.
"A Troubled Course is a brilliant late-eighteenth-century British naval adventure full of political intrigue, action, and betrayal. With richly detailed characters and dialog, David Donachie gives the reader a window into the early Napoleonic naval wars. The period-correct dialog cast against historical events makes this book a delight for historical fiction enthusiasts. With combatants and rogues seemingly at every turn, A Troubled Course, the seventeenth offering in the John Pearce saga, is sure to excite even the casual reader."
Donachie assails your senses with the whiff of salt air and the heave and roll of a living ship beneath your feet. His characters are gritty and authentic, and he describes their world in all its high adventure and low brutality.
Droits of the Crown is a literary burgoo with just the right mix of historical authenticity and storytelling, one that grips the reader and carries them along. Donachie knows his time period and his subject matter, he knows how to spin a yarn, and once again, it shows.
Droits of the Crown expertly captures the essence of the trials and triumphs of a life at sea while also giving a rare look behind the curtains at the corruption, power, and politics of the era. The characters and superb seamanship will stick with me for a long time. It’s the most fun I’ve had with a historical nautical adventure since Patrick O’Brian!
High adventure and detection; cunningly spliced battle scenes which reek of blood and brine; excitements on terra firma to match
Pure adventure with excitement and daring all the way . . . historical fiction at its very best.
Outflanking and out-gunning C. S. Forester.
High-speed epic from an ace storyteller.
Exciting and unpredictable.