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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

At Drake's Command by David Wesley Hill

Genre: Historical Fiction, Nautical Fiction

Setting:  England, and at sea on Francis Drake's circumnavigation of the world, in the late sixteenth century.

First Sentence:  It was as fine a morning to be whipped as any I have ever seen.

Our main character is Peregrine James, known as Perry to his friends.  Perry is a plucky lad who has lost his position as a cook.  Unfairly accused of thievery, Perry must seek his fortune elsewhere.  As he is being whipped, Perry gains the notice of Francis Drake, the intrepid sea captain.  Perry boldly asks Drake for a position on his ship.  Peregrine proves his mettle, and is accepted into Drake's crew.

Perry is the lowest ranking boy on the ship.  He must quickly find a place among the experienced sea dogs.   As they sail from adventure to adventure, Perry gets by with luck and bravery.  Sometimes he causes his own misfortune due to his honesty and idealism.

Where Drake intends to sail is kept secret from the crew.  A British ship sailing through waters infested with Spanish and Portuguese ships is always in peril.  The crew follows Drake because he is a courageous man of action.  They believe that they will be greatly rewarded when they return to England.  If Perry can survive the dangers,  and pick his battles, he might make his fortune too.

I like this novel.  I especially like the author's voice.  The novel is told in the first person. The voice used evokes the period in which the novel is set.  The dialog also adds to the atmosphere of the novel.  I especially liked the creative oaths the sailors use when speaking.  Overall, the voice makes the novel fun to read.

I also like the way the action moves forward.  Many of the chapters end with a cliff hanger which leads the reader directly into the next chapter.  This makes for an enjoyable read.

The novel ended with a cliffhanger, so I'll be eagerly awaiting the next book in the series.

At Drake's Command is how available on Amazon!

From the author:

Hi, Mike:

Thanks so much for reading--and enjoying--At Drake's Command. I really want to write the second book, Desperate Bankrupts, but that, unfortunately, depends on how well ADC does.

I will, of course, let you know when it's available on Amazon. Until then, however, people can pre-order autographed copies at:

All the best, and THANK YOU for taking the time to review At Drake's Command!

David H.

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