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The Shangani Patrol by John Wilcox
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The Shangani Patrol

by John Wilcox

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Another look at Africa with Jenkins 352 and Simon Fonthill. With Simon's wife as well. This time we see a seedier side of the Victorian British land grab, and how Cecil Rhodes manipulates the less sophisticated and worldly wise natives.

Most of the book sets us up for a long view of what was occurring and because of that, we don't have a good time scale, nor a map in this book. Both of which would have helped.

The action, and instead of fighting to protect the empire, but in this case, expand the empire, is the last 20% of the story, instead of all bound throughout.

Not that there isn't action, or that there are not enemies. This time, we do not have the usual bumbling and fumbling Victorian Officer that has existed before to use their pride to thwart Fonthill's directness in doing what is right.

In some sense that is better, because in every operation before, always have a fool above Simon to thwart him as seemed too much. Simon has been at this long enough that he is recognized as an expert. And that should be played on more. That, and a next generation to hand off what he and Jenkins have learned to.

The series continues to hold my attention, well written, and the characters are consistent and endearing. A very good addition to the historical novel canon. ( )
  DWWilkin | Oct 14, 2012 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0755345622, Paperback)

Adventurer Simon Fonthill is forced to take sides in the last and most tragic battle of 19th-Century British South Africa, in this gripping military adventure

 

In the African Cape, Simon Fonthill—one-time subaltern and ex-captain in the North West Frontier’s Royal Corps of Guides—and his wife Alice find themselves on tribal land and at the mercy of ruthless Matabele warriors. While being held under the orders of the warrior king Lobengula, Fonthill becomes aware of a Portuguese plot to undermine a valuable treaty between Lobengula and the richest man in Africa, Cecil Rhodes. When friction develops between Rhodes and the Matabele tribesmen, Fonthill is forced to take sides. Together with Alice and his comrade 352 Jenkins, he becomes embroiled in one of the bloodiest battles in British history, the Shangani River massacre. 

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:05:33 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

It is 1889 and the great powers of Europe are scrambling for territory in Africa. The last prize is the kingdom of Matabele and Mashonaland, ruled by tyrant King Lobengula and policed by his warriors. The British do not wish another colonial war, but millionaire Cecil Rhodes wants the land at any price.… (more)

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