The Price of Glory by Seth Hunter

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The Price of Glory by Seth Hunter

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Category: Historical Fiction
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: John Harding
Reviewed by John Harding
Summary: Conclusion to a very good trilogy of historical fiction set in the 1790s with loads of subterfuge and action.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 384 Date: July 2010
Publisher: Headline Review
ISBN: 978-0755343119

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This is the final book in Seth Hunter's trilogy about the naval adventures and private life of Captain Nathan Peake. While the other two books, The Time of Terror and The Tide of War, were fairly self-contained stories in themselves, the running thread of Nathan's private life continues over the three books and isn't really resolved until the final few paragraphs in The Price of Glory.

This book is neatly divided into three smaller stories each containing a number of chapters and set in different locations. The first part, entitled The Deadly Shore is with Nathan and his crew in the Gulf of Morbihan. The second part, The Courtseans, is Nathan back in post-revolutionary Paris as an undercover agent (as he was in The Time of Terror). The final part, The Sacred Chalice, Nathan is back in his boat in the Bay of Genoa seeking the fortune from a local bank.

By far the longest part of the book was Nathan's trip to Paris where he makes an acquaintance with Captain Cannon (Napoleon Buonaparte) and the scandalous courtesans, Rose and Theresa. The interactions and dialogue between Nathan and these new characters is well-constructed and very believable. The colourful characters are brought to life with the authors superb writing style. I was amused by the aborted 'orgy' with the courtesans although Seth Hunter is no Belle de Jour when it comes to writing scenes of a sexual nature!

Seth Hunter certainly manages to pack a lot of subplots and sideshows into his book. Each chapter itself is a different scene and this helps the story move at a considerable pace. It certainly never stagnates and I never really wanted to put the book down. It held my intrigue throughout building up to the inevitable climax with his love interest that has been building throughout the trilogy of books.

As with his previous books, Seth Hunter has a few pages in the back of the book to explain the history of the story the reader has just read. The main characters in The Price of Glory are mostly fictitious but there is a strong undercurrent of truth based on historical research and the book explains what was real and what wasn't. Its a nice touch.

As for criticisms, I have a couple. The summary of the story that is on the back cover/inside sleeve doesn't really summarise the story properly (especially the final paragraph), and I would have wanted to see more of Nathan's interactions with his family, but really, this is just pedantry. The Price of Glory concludes a fantastic trilogy of books that are well-written, superbly researched and tell a good, entertaining story from beginning to end.

I have absolutely no hesitation in recommending all of them and I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to The Bookbag.

Further reading suggestion: The Tide of War

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