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The King's Privateer by Dewey Lambdin

The King's Privateer (1992)

by Dewey Lambdin

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The King's Coat, first in the series, was a tour de force. The next two books were an absolute delight. Then something went wrong.

In the opening scenes of The King's Privateer, Dewey Lambdin inserts a two-paragraph dissertation on changes in men's fashions. It is an omen of things to come: In this installment of Alan Lewrie's naval adventures, Lambdin seems compelled to use all of his research, no matter how awkward it is to cram it in. His superlative ability to describe a fight is barely evident here, as he substitutes flurries of exclamation points for vivid narrative prose, even resorting once to ALL CAPS.

Still, Lambdin can turn a phrase, producing some breathtaking lines, and his love for ships and the sea shines through in this book as in the others. His commitment to his characters, both new and old, is also unwavering. One can only hope that the next installment, The Gun Ketch will give us a return to the carefully crafted stories Lambdin has already proven he can produce.
( )
  CivilWarWriter | Jan 15, 2012 |
In this fourth installment of the Alan Lewrie Naval Adventure series, Mr. Lewrie is off to the South China Sea aboard a new ship – the Telesto – as part of an undercover Royal Navy mission to track down and punish whoever it is who has been capturing British traders, killing their crews and stealing the cargo.

Alan does not mean to go to sea on this or any other apparently civilian enterprise. The American Revolution is over and Alan Lewrie and large portions of the British Navy have been put out to pasture, so to speak. He does not truly mind this interlude between wars. For the present, he is perfectly content with his decently comfortable life in London. True, he’s only a half-pay officer now, but he has a decent amount of financial support from his long-lost granny - quite sufficient to furnish his rooms adequately and aid him in his drinking, socializing, pursuit and bedding of a variety of women and in leading a generally idle life.

Directly after chasing and bedding women, Alan Lewrie’s favorite occupation in recent years has been the pursuit, capture and/or destruction of French ships. It’s something he’s good at and the last thing he wants to do is to go crashing off to the Far East for a year or two or even more. However, he has no choice in the matter and off he goes. Alan is only fourth lieutenant on the Telesto, but no matter. It is not very long before he is making his usual shrewd judgments and clever plans that demonstrate Alan is a natural born naval genius. The pirates don’t stand a chance.

Alan’s wretched father, Sir Hugo – the man who virtually had his son shanghaied into the Navy several years before in order to get his paws on his son’s money – turns up again. Sir Hugo who has fled England a few steps ahead of his creditors is now in charge of a contingent of Bengali soldiers and is also a part of the operation to ferret out and stop the pirates. Alan and Sir Hugo have to work together and by book’s end, things are better between the two of them.

Truthfully, although I enjoyed this book as well as I have the previous ones, there was a little bit of a spot about half way through where all the complicated ins and outs of trading in China and figuring out who it was exactly who was running the pirate operation got a teeny bit tedious. However, I think I was just anxious for Alan to start sinking ships.

It was a very satisfying read and before I finished I ran out to my local bookstore and bought the next book in the series. ( )
3 vote Fourpawz2 | Jul 22, 2009 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0449224511, Mass Market Paperback)

1783: His Majesty's secret agent

Fresh from war in the Americas, young navy veteran Alan Lewrie finds London pure pleasure. Then, at Plymouth he boards the trading ship Telesto, to find out why merchantmen are disappearing in the East Indies. Between the pungent shores of Calcutta and teaming Canton, Lewrie--reunited with his scoundrel father--discovers a young French captain, backed by an armada of Mindanaon pirates, on a plundering rampage. While treaties tie the navy's hands, a King's privateer is free to plunge into the fire and blood of a dirty little war on the high South China Sea.

Ladies' man, officer, and rogue, Alan Lewrie is the ultimate man of adventure. In the worthy tradition of Hornblower, Aubrey, and Maturin, his exploits echo with the sounds of crowded ports and the crash of naval warfare.

Praise for the Naval Adventures of Alan Lewrie

"The best naval series since C. S. Forrester . . . Recommended."

--Library Journal

"Plenty of action . . . Fast-paced, graphically descriptive, and well plotted."

--The Virginian-Pilot & The Ledger-Star


Fast-moving . . . A hugely likable hero, a huge cast of sharply drawn supporting characters: there's nothing missing. Wonderful stuff."

--Kirkus Reviews

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:36 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Alan Lewrie's secret mission, on board the Telesto in the South China Seas, is to keep an eye on the Dutch, Spanish, and French to make sure they don't cause trouble for His Majesty's territories in the region.

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