Dewey Lambdin, a self-described navy brat, has been a sailor since 1976, with a special taste for cruising the Gulf of Mexico in his sloop. He is the author of seven Alan Lewrie novels: The King's Coat, The French Admiral, The King's Commission, The King's Privateer, The Gun Ketch, H.M.S. Cockerel, and A King's Commander. A member of the Naval Institute, Dewey Lambdin makes his home in Nashville, Tennessee.
Lambdin's Alan Lewrie stacks up well with C.S. Forester's Hornblowe r and Alexander Kent's Bolitho as a fictional naval officer. In this first novel, Lewrie, at 17, is unwillingly made a midshipman in the British navy of 1780. He sails first in a ship-of-the-line, later in a schooner, and finally a frigate. Storms, battles, duels, and difficulties begin to change him from a spoiled fop into a competent officer who is slowly coming to take pride in his hard service. Lambdin makes his character very human and believable. Questions about his background and prospects are left intriguingly unanswered. Lambdin also demonstrates a good enough grasp of sailing and 18th-century sea warfare to satisfy readers of this genre, who are quick to catch any mistakes. A good yarn that promises to become a good series.-- C. Robert Nixon, M.L.S., Lafayette, Ind.
"The best naval series since C.S. Forester".-- Library Journal
Comparisons will be made between Midshipman Alan Lewrie and Forester's Horatio Hornblower, but this auspicious beginning of a series has a very modern sensibility. In 1780, at the age of 17, our hero, bastard son of Sir Hugo Willoughby, is already a practicing rake in London. Caught in flagrante with his sluttish half-sister, he is banished to the Navy in a nasty ploy by Sir Hugo to rob the boy of his inheritance. During Alan's year on the 64-gun Adriadne , on the American-built schooner Parrot and on the frigate Desperate , he becomes an adept, even valiant sailor. There are foes at sea (a snotty fellow midshipman, a sanctimonious captain, American rebels) and ashore (Sir Hugo and minions), but there are also friends, notably Lt. Kenyon, skipper of the Parrot , and Lucy Beauman, beautiful niece of an admiral. Lambdin's crisp, gory action scenes possibly are marred for landlubbers by heavy nautical jargon, but graphic ribaldry involving a couple of older ladies needs no translation. (June)