The eighteenth volume in the popular John Pearce Adventures set on the high seas
John Pearce faces a court martial, but will cowardly Toby Burns, chief witness, stand up to questioning? With the matter unresolved, HMS Hazard is put under the command of Horatio Nelson, with whom any cruise is bound to be eventful. Sure enough, battle is joined with two Spanish frigates, though success is short-lived and flight in the face of a superior foe becomes the only option.
In London, the government denies prize money for the cargo of silver Pearce took off the Santa Leocadia, claiming it as property of the Crown. Pearce’s prize agent seeks to fight this, only to be outmanoeuvred by the devious Henry Dundas. Worse, some very bad pennies from the past have come back to haunt the life of Emily Barclay and the thief-taker Walter Hodgson.
From Elba, Pearce is sent on a mission to collect fleeing members of the Corsican government – an assignment which seems simple but proves to be anything but. Seeking a solution which will not imperil his ship, he sets out to negotiate the aid of a local clan chief, inadvertently putting himself, his crew, and his rescued charges in jeopardy. Pearce finds himself trapped in a deep Corsican bay, facing odds of two to one, which he can only overcome by employing devious tactics. And even if he is successful, he will be forced to make a decision: to follow his instincts or to obey his orders.
David Donachie was born in Edinburgh in 1944. He has always had an abiding interest in British naval history of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, as well as military history, including ancient Rome, the Middle Ages, and the clandestine services during the Second World War. He has more than fifty published novels to his credit, with over a million copies sold. David lives in Deal, the historic English seaport on the border of the English Channel and the North Sea.
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 another winner by David Donachie: 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, and my next stop is to pick up the very first John Pearce book to find out what else I’ve been missing!
David Donachie has written a rousing tale set in the Mediterranean during the French Revolutionary Wars. In this latest addition to the John Pearce series, Donachie weaves a suspenseful plot filled with danger at sea and skulduggery ashore involving treasure taken from a captured Spanish frigate. Donachie is a sure-handed author who knows the history and language of the time period. The scenes at sea—everything from a shipwreck on a rocky shoreline in the Strait of Gibraltar to a narrow escape from French warships off the unfriendly coast of Corsica—are told with a dramatic flair and an eye for detail. Throughout all the naval drama at sea, readers are fully invested in rooting for the impetuous and impatient Lieutenant John Pearce, the captain of the 14-gun brig HMS Hazard, as he awaits news of his impending court martial.
High adventure and detection; cunningly spliced battle scenes which reek of blood and brine; excitements on terra firma to match
Exciting and unpredictable.
Pure adventure with excitement and daring all the way . . . historical fiction at its very best.
High-speed epic from an ace storyteller.
Outflanking and out-gunning C. S. Forester.
"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."