(Matthew Hervey 7)
The seventh novel in Allan Mallinson’s acclaimed and bestselling series finds Hervey alone and a prisoner in the fortress of Badajos on the Spanish border.
Christmas 1826 finds Matthew Hervey of the 6th Light Dragoons alone and a prisoner. Captured by the Spanish, he is locked up in the notorious fortress of Badajoz, with little means of outside communication, his Prayer Book his only mental sustenance. He must escape, but as he lays his plans his thoughts return to 1812, when as a young cornet he was here with Wellington's Peninsular Army. Having survived the terrible retreat to Corunna, Hervey and the Sixth had gone on to endure three more years of fighting – only to be stalled at Badajoz...
Badajoz: a fortress of huge strategic importance, where two sieges had already failed, and where French resistance was at its bloodiest. No one – from the Duke of Wellington to the most lowly cornet – was in any doubt that in order to defeat Napoleon they must carry the day. As the young Hervey and his comrades prepared for the third and final attack on the fortress, the only options left were victory... or death.
What Hervey cannot know, as he paces his prison cell fourteen years later, is that in Lisbon, his close friends – including the beautiful Isabella Delgado – are rushing to his aid. The escape they plan is audacious in the extreme.
“'Irresistible...Mallinson reinforces his position as a master of narrative military history'”
“'He is back...writing once more with fluidity and power. By concentrating on the battle of Talavera and the investment of Badajoz, both sparklingly described, he plays to his undoubted strengths...rich in detail and impeccable wit'”
“'Mallinson's descriptions of what it's like to be on a campaign are as compelling, vivid and plausible as in any war novel I've ever read'”
“'The author's knowledge of warfare endows this novel, the seventh in a series, with strategic intelligence and superb craftsmanship.'”
The Oxford Times