Foreword Review — Sept / Oct 2011
The Price of Glory, set in 1795 post-Revolutionary France, is the author’s third in a nautical series featuring fictional British seaman Captain Nathan Peake. With vivid tales of ships and the sea, wind and weather, war and revolution, Hunter’s action-packed novel features credible dialogue and descriptive passages that never slow the narrative’s rapid pace.
In his late 20s, our hero stands six feet tall and is already battle-scarred. Danger doesn’t affect his appetite, yet when tempted by lusty women he controls baser instincts. Peake goes into battle with confidence, having earned the loyalty of his men. France is at war with England and between sea battles he is ordered to gather information in post-revolutionary Paris.
Peake reflects on the people who have suffered the randomness of fate “… abandoned to the tide of war and politics.” He muses about recent encounters with commanders such as himself, having been present when Napoleon stopped the counter-Revolution by bringing “… his cannon up to slaughter the defeated rubble on the steps of the Saint-Roch …” He has witnessed British officer Horatio Nelson pounding already crippled ships. As one who is also accountable for the lives of those under his command, as well as civilians and the ships engaged in battle, he agonizes over violence and death, which he comes to understand is the price of glory.
And, of course, while Peake fulfills his duty as a British agent, he also searches for the love of his life, Sara, who has been caught up in the wars of the Royalists and Republicans. On the sea, in Paris, and in his mother’s London home, Captain Nathan Peake meets adventure head-on with other famous personages inhabiting our world history and literature: Mary Wollstonecraft, author of The Vindication of the Rights of Woman; her shifty first husband, American land speculator Gilbert Imlay; and beautiful and seductive courtesans, one of whom marries Napoleon.
Seth Hunter has penned many acclaimed, popular novels for adults and children, as well as written and directed historical dramas for British television, radio, and theatre. This meticulously researched Nathan Peake novel will exceed expectations of lovers of historical fiction. Anyone who appreciates excellent prose, witty anecdotes, complex action, intertwining plots, and all-around great writing will anxiously await the next installment.