Having previously spent 27 years in the British army and 2½ of those serving with 7th Gurkha Rifles in Hong Kong, I was looking forward to reading this work because, at the age of 29, it was the dutiful Gurkha who taught me much about different peoples. In addition, I now spend my time immersed in detailed research (though not on military subjects) - and I am, therefore, able to recognise any comprehensive studies undertaken by another writer. This is a work of supreme research and detailed knowledge.
Described as `An historical novel,' it is, therefore, fiction based on fact. That said, it seems to be more fact than fiction. Four, seemingly unrelated events; the death of an obscure woman in childbirth, a fairly ordinary Frenchman caught in the act of incest, the upsetting of some hornets and an innocent man blown from the muzzle of a gun are skilfully intertwined to create an epic story with intrigue at almost every corner.
Some might even suggest this book is required reading for those who might wish to know how Britain's association with the Gurkha began. It really is a fascinating read.
(British army major (retired))