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At Drake's Command: The adventures of Peregrine James during the second circumnavigation of the world: 1 [Paperback]

David Wesley Hill
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
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Book Description

1 Nov 2012
It was as fine a day to be whipped as any he'd ever seen but the good weather didn't make Peregrine James any happier with the situation he was in. Unfairly convicted of a crime he had not committed, the young cook was strung from the whipping post on the Plymouth quayside when he caught the eye of Francis Drake and managed to convince the charismatic sea captain to accept him among his crew. Soon England was receding in their wake and Perry was serving an unsavory collection of sea dogs as the small fleet of fragile wood ships sailed across the deep brine. Their destination was secret, known to Drake alone. Few sailors believed the public avowal that the expedition was headed for Alexandria to trade in currants. Some men suspected Drake planned a raid across Panama to attack the Spanish in the Pacific. Others were sure the real plan was to round the Cape of Storms to break the Portuguese monopoly of the spice trade. The only thing Perry knew for certain was that they were bound for danger and that he must live by his wits if he were to survive serving at Drake's command.

Product details

  • Paperback: 424 pages
  • Publisher: Temurlone Press (1 Nov 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0983611726
  • ISBN-13: 978-0983611721
  • Product Dimensions: 2.4 x 13.8 x 21.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,408,735 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

David Wesley Hill is an award-winning fiction writer with more than thirty stories published in the U.S. and internationally. In 1997 he was presented with the Golden Bridge award at the International Conference on Science Fiction in Beijing, and in 1999 he placed second in the Writers of the Future contest. Most recently, in 2011 Mr. Hill was invited to his third residency at the Blue Mountain Center, a writers and artists retreat in the Adirondacks. Mr. Hill studied under Joseph Heller and Jack Cady and received a Masters degree in creative writing from the City University of New York, as well as the school's highest literary honor, the De Jur Award. At various times he has been an executive chef for major hotels, a management consultant, and a website designer.

Product Description

About the Author

David Wesley Hill is an award-winning fiction writer with more than thirty stories published in the U.S. and internationally. In 1997 he was presented with the Golden Bridge award at the International Conference on Science Fiction in Beijing, and in 1999 he placed second in the Writers of the Future contest. Most recently, in 2011 Mr. Hill was invited to his third residency at the Blue Mountain Center, a writers and artists retreat in the Adirondacks. Mr. Hill studied under Joseph Heller and Jack Cady and received a Masters degree in creative writing from the City University of New York, as well as the school's highest literary honor, the De Jur Award. At various times he has been an executive chef for major hotels, a management consultant, and a website designer.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Right Rollicking Tale 6 April 2013
By Brett H TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
If you enjoyed Hornblower or The Onedin Line then you are going to love At Drake's Command. This book traces the many fates that befall a new young sailor, Peregrine James, on his first sea voyage. His commander is Sir Francis Drake (soon to singe the King of Spain's beard and defeat the Armada), but right now trying to muscle England in on the lucrative trade routes which the Portuguese and Spanish are currently hogging.

Peregrine is taken on as a cook when he catches Drake's eye whilst awaiting a public flogging. Peregine, a sort of 16th Century Jamie Oliver, can cook up a storm but he soon becomes Drake's trusted man which leads him away from his galley stoves and into numerous adventures. He soon learns that he is regarded by his superiors as absolutely expendable and learns many home truths such as honesty is not always regarded as the best policy. Peregrine learns the sorrow of losing a good friend to the deep and the privations of life on a sailing ship in the sixteenth century that has him cooking up such delicacies as `between decks venison', a sort of rat stew. The ship is supposed to be sailing to Alexandria to trade in currants but it soon becomes clear to Peregrine that Drake has his sights set on much bigger prizes than a mere cargo of dried grapes.

This is a right rollicking tale which will keep you guessing all the way to the end, which, of course, is far from being the end. At Drake's Command is the first of a planned series featuring Peregrine Jones and the good Captain Drake so more to look forward to. The story is well told and the pace exciting. There is always something happening to Peregrine! The characters are well drawn from Drake as the larger than life person he must certainly have been, to the shrew like Doughty and the honourable Peregrine himself.

If you love a salty yarn and a fast adventure, you are going to love At Drake's Command.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Heave-ho and up she rises! 10 Mar 2013
By Eileen Shaw TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
Much of the detail of this book is taken from the records of various people who sailed with Francis Drake on the Pelican, and the Elizabeth with a total of 164 men on the second circumnavigation of the world from 1577 to 1580. The story is told from the point of view of Perry James, a young man taken on as a ship's cook after he catches the eye of Sir Francis in Plymouth, where he is about to be whipped as a thief. As his only real crime is to have fallen in love with his master's daughter, Perry is something of an innocent, but he soon learns the seamanship needed to survive and makes friends, and enemies, among the other seamen. At various points of the story he proves he is trustworthy, but he is also often a pawn, used by other men to further their own designs.

The business of sailing is depicted with a sense of the drama of the sea, a precarious business, but there are incidents on land just as full of danger and excitement. Again and again Perry performs beyond the call of duty, but he is often nave and prone to mistakes of judgement. There is a continuation of the story promised; to be titled 'Desperate Bankrupts'.

I was a little disappointed with the characterisation, particularly when Perry was blamed for matters of which he could only be innocent. The characterisation of Drake was disconcertingly inconsistent - all too ready to mistrust the boy who again and again proved himself true, only to be dismissed on the slimmest of evidence. It seems with all his efforts to prove himself as an adherent to Drake's cause, and with all the evidence of his faithfulness, the dice are cruelly cast against him.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars great read 7 May 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
really well written, keeps you tied to the book. well worth it. realistic and action packed with historic accuracy and locations.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, humorous novel 20 Jun 2014
By John Hopper TOP 1000 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This delightful novel tells the story of young Peregrine James, a Plymouth lad who, fleeing from a whipping for a theft he did not commit, is taken on as ship's cook on Sir Francis Drake's ship The Pelican at the start of what later becomes its voyage round the world (though this is not known to anyone on board throughout the novel). He gets into all kinds of scrapes and trouble as they travel on past the Straits of Gibraltar (giving the lie to the voyage's stated purpose of trading in spices in Alexandria), and down along the coast of Africa to the Cape Verde islands, experiencing betrayals, captures and daring escapes, sword fights and doing plenty of cooking along the way, before The Pelican and the Spanish and Portuguese ships it has captured en route set off across the Atlantic at the end of the book. There is a twist in the end for our hero, paving the way for a sequel, which I look forward to reading when it comes out - Perry is a humorous and likeable character, and the rest of the crew and officers from Drake down are all well drawn characters. Excellent stuff.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting and Enjoyable 1 Sep 2013
By Rick K
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I really like historical fiction and this book gave me an insight into Francis Drake and the way he ran his ships. This story gave me a very interesting insight into the way ship operated between decks and the men who worked there. The vocabulary is from that era and although it takes a little bit of getting used to it makes for an interesting change. I hate it when reviewers let slip with clues on how the book ends so I'll just say that I got to like young Perry and I'm looking forward to more books of the same genre by this author.
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