It is December, 1799, and Captain of Marines Simon Gamble has been sent behind enemy lines to capture an impregnable fortress called Dominance on the Maltese island of Gozo. Gamble must lead his lightly-armed men against the prime veteran soldiers of France, in a daring and brutal fight where there can only be one winner. Success means freedom for the Gozitans from their French oppressors; failure means the marines face an unmarked grave on foreign soil. A hero and a soldier to some, but certainly no gentleman, Gamble; battle-scarred and haunted by the horrific bloodshed at the Siege of Acre prior to this mission, must fight a new guileful enemy, even if the price means death or dishonour. This is Gamble's toughest fight yet, and one he knows he cannot afford to fail. For the ultimate battle will be for revenge.
David Cook’s second installment in his Soldier Chronicles, Heart of Oak, is military history and adventure at its best. Set in the late eighteenth-century during the Napoleonic Wars, the novella explores the fight between the French and English over the Isle of Malta, particularly the island of Gozo.
The tale is riveting and fast-paced, filled with unexpected but realistic plot twists. The hero, Gamble, is authentic, and through his and others’ inner turmoil, Cook gives the reader a heartrending glimpse into the inner turmoil and mental trauma war inflicts on those on the front lines. Even so, the story is filled with humor. Cook’s mastery of dialogue brings the characters to life on the page, and the battle scenes are vividly detailed.
Well-researched and engrossing, Heart of Oak is as lyrical a tale as it is gritty, as action-packed as it is atmospheric.
Highly recommended for fans of the Napoleonic era, military history, and adventure stories; recommended that this series be read in order