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Attack on the Redan
By Garry Douglas Kilworth

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Attack on the Redan

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Attack on the Redan
By Garry Douglas Kilworth
Ulverscroft Large Print, (2004)
ISBN: 1-84395-353-6
Genre: Historical Fiction - War, Adventure Suspense

Reviewed by Herbert White - October 19, 2004

Attack on the Redan is the thrilling conclusion of Garry Douglas Kilworth's fascinating Crimean War series. It is not, however, his last book to feature the invincible Sergeant 'Fancy Jack' Crossman. Word has it, like many of the men who fought for the British in the Crimean, and survived the war, Fancy Jack will soon find himself on his way to India - but that is another story...

Picking up where The Winter Soldiers left off, Attack on the Redan is a fast paced, down-and-dirty story about life in the trenches. It follows Fancy Jack and his Peloton (Platoon) of men, and a woman disguised as a man, as they operate behind enemy lines as sappers and saboteurs. These 'foxhunts' are a recurring theme throughout this adventurous tale, which is filled with exciting, and graphic, descriptions of the peloton's clashes with the enemy forces. his story is a bit grittier than The Winter Soldiers in that several of the characters face drastic, life changing situations that will scar them for life, both physically and mentally. By example, when Peterson, the woman disguised as man, is captured by the enemy, her true sex is uncovered and she is abused by her captives - a fate that befell many women whether they were combatants or simply camp followers. Fancy Jack himself suffers a physical wound in this tale that will follow him for the rest of his life.

The main focus of this story is the continuing attack on Sebastopol and its port by the Western allies who wish to wrest control of the Crimean from the Russians. The attack on the Redan was one of the last major offenses of the war, and it was the decisive battle of the Crimean War.

This novel is set in the year 1855, and this story is based upon historical facts that are as grim, deadly, and purposeless as Kilworth portrays. Throughout this story, Kilworth provides insights into Fancy Jack's history and familiar relationships, as well as his love interests.

If you've not read The Winter Soldiers, I recommend that you do so before reading this book because the two volumes read more like two parts of the same book. Kilworth's knowledge about 19th century British military history and the Crimean War are apparent in his writing. His descriptions are accurate, and compelling, and he vividly brings this by-gone period to life with finesse. Kilworth's Crimean War series is an outstanding addition to the realm of historical military fiction. Highly recommended.

Attack on the Redan can be purchased directly from Ulverscroft.

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