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Form Line of Battle!
By Alexander Kent

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Form Line of Battle!

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Form Line of Battle!
By Alexander Kent
ISIS Large Print, (2005)
ISBN: 0-7531-7195-3
Genre: Adventure, Historical Fiction

Reviewed by Sheldon Ztvordokov - March 8, 2005

With Form Line of Battle! Alexander Kent returns to that great age of the sailing warships. In this, the tenth volume in the Richard Bolitho saga, Kent placed Bolitho back into the thick of sea warfare. The year is 1793 and the revolutionary fervor sweeping France threatens to infect all of Europe. To protect her own interests, the British crown has embarked upon a tactic of containment that they hope will keep the radical anti-monarchist sentiments from contaminating the minds of the English. This is a tactic not favored by the new French Republic, and war is declared.

Bolitho and his crew are tasked to join with Lord Hood's forces at Gibraltar. There they are to serve picket duty, limiting access in and out of the Mediterranean, and assisting any British ground engagements in the area. In this regard, Bolitho and his men take part in the battle of Toulon - and Kent's descriptions of this and other battles in marvelously detailed and realistic.

In this installment, Bolitho is still a Captain, but with a new command - the warship, Hyperion, an older ship, and one that Bolitho has come across before. With him is his friend and coxswain, John Allday. The Hyperion is a bigger ship than the frigates of Bolitho's past commands, and he must deal with a larger crew than he is use to. To complicate his life, the ship has been at sea for three years and the crew had expected to be going home. Unfortunately for them, England and France unexpectedly found themselves at war again, and relief for the crew of the Hyperion would have to wait. To further complicate Bolitho's command, the ship's previous captain had died suddenly, and there is some resentment among the crew at Bolitho's sudden appearance and his different style of command.

Form Line of Battle! is an action packed story full of complicated characters, fast-paced fighting scenes, plenty of maritime action, and of course, a love interest for Bolitho. Written in a style reminiscent of C.S. Forester' Horatio Hornblower novels, this story will enthrall anyone interested in the Age of Sail and historically based stories about sea and the men who sailed upon her.

Click here for a list of all the books in the Richard Bolitho series.


Form Line of Battle! can be purchased directly from Ulverscroft, the parent company of ISIS Large Print.


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