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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Rules of Writers
When it comes to the second book of any series (this being Jack Steel 2), you get to know whether an author has real talent and able to maintain the standards portrayed within the original or whether the pressure was just too much and a poor offering was presented. There just isn't a middle ground, it maintains and builds or it goes down in flames, so what did Iain's...
Published on 12 July 2009 by Gareth Wilson - Falcata Times Blog

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A reasonable read
I'm an avid reader of historical fiction. I have now tried the first two books in the Jack Steel series - I finished reading this one about a month ago, and I'm finding it a little difficult to recall the characters now - pity, because I found the description of Marlborough's campaigns quite interesting - a lot less written about this period than the Napoleonic wars...
Published on 10 Dec. 2010 by Roger


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A reasonable read, 10 Dec. 2010
By 
Roger "Cruisin-Geezer" (SWINDON United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Rules of War (Jack Steel 2) (Paperback)
I'm an avid reader of historical fiction. I have now tried the first two books in the Jack Steel series - I finished reading this one about a month ago, and I'm finding it a little difficult to recall the characters now - pity, because I found the description of Marlborough's campaigns quite interesting - a lot less written about this period than the Napoleonic wars about a century later. I will probably buy the next book to see if I can invest in the characters a little more thoroughly - or put another way - to see if Ian Gale engages me more deeply in the story.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Rules of Writers, 12 July 2009
By 
Gareth Wilson - Falcata Times Blog "Falcata T... - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Rules of War (Jack Steel 2) (Paperback)
When it comes to the second book of any series (this being Jack Steel 2), you get to know whether an author has real talent and able to maintain the standards portrayed within the original or whether the pressure was just too much and a poor offering was presented. There just isn't a middle ground, it maintains and builds or it goes down in flames, so what did Iain's writing do?

The fact that I'm having an Iain Gale Day should pretty much tell you. The writing was a pure joy, the characters fresh and complete although personally I'd rather have a Sergeant Slaughter series over a ranking officer any day. I love this series so far and to be honest there's not much more that can be added other than its something special for all readers. Special mention also has to go to the wonderfully creative villains that have so far appeared within the context who give Steel a real challenge and are just as wonderfully addictive, long may they continue to elude the hero to generate more chaos into which he's plunged. Cracking stuff.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A Dissapointment., 31 July 2008
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I cannot but feel let down after reading this book. After the first Jack Steel novel, yes there were obvious reasons why it should be compared to the Sharpe adventures, but has a good yarn I felt it had good merit, and stood up very well on its own. This second novel lacked pace ( except towards the end )and certainly was nowhere has good a read has the first.
Lets hope Mr Gale third one regains the momentum.
Mike D.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Jack Steel, 19 May 2013
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This review is from: Rules of War (Kindle Edition)
a good read, flows allong nicley, the charactes are belevable good plot around an actual historic event. Not unlike Bernard Cornwall well worth a read and i will give his other books a go
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3.0 out of 5 stars A decent read, 25 Sept. 2014
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This review is from: Rules of War (Kindle Edition)
A few times during the book, I thought I'd inadvertently skipped a few pages. In truth, I felt that a lot happened between passages/chapters following action packed pages.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A very exciting military adventure., 14 Mar. 2014
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This review is from: Rules of War (Kindle Edition)
A very exciting novel, well written with clear clarification of the subject matter. Anyone who is interested in military stories will certainly enjoy it.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Just slightly different. Except not..., 24 Jun. 2012
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This review is from: Rules of War (Jack Steel 2) (Paperback)
I suppose there be spoilers ahead, but anyone reading this, will have already come across them already elsewhere. Well, everywhere, really.

Not entirely terrible, but predictable and derivative.

The Unique Selling Point is that it happens in the Marlborough-ish / bit before the Napoleonic era that nobody has nailed for a series before. (Mostly because it was quite a bit less exciting than anything Napoleonic).

Rather brave of the publishers to cite Sharpe on the cover as a hook. But talk about formulaic? This looks like it was nailed together from the Historical Novel Pick 'n' Mix counter.

Being present at all the historically important battles? Bingo. Being flogged? Guess what? Renegade villainous sergeant nemesis? Check. Faithful hulking sidekick sergeant? Indeed, except he's a (sort of) Durham miner. That would be clever, but for Sergeant Armstrong in Allan Mallinson's waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay superior books.

The other thing I'm not too keen on is what looks like it might be a perennial arch enemy that will pop up all the time, will always have the hero at his mercy, will always be defeated, will always escape, and, dammit, will always turn up again.

Folks like that who vow to follow you to the ends of the earth for revenge are just a nuisance (to everyone but Malcolm Reynolds).

I suppose I will read the others in the series. OCD enough to want to finish a saga if I start it. And as I said, it's not unreadably bad. *eyes up the WEB Griffin "Castillo Recaps" gathering dust on the shelves*

Finally, I got to the end of the book without having any idea of what Jack Steel (cringe...he must have been so gutted that "Jake Bullet" was already taken...) looks like. More tellingly, I really didn't feel the loss. Even if there had been one and a half dimensions to the character, it wouldn't have helped the book much.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Number Two, 3 May 2009
This is the second in the Jack Steel series of Malborough era books. It has the promise to be a better book than Man of Honour: Jack Steel and the Blenheim Campaign, July to August 1704 (Jack Steel 1) and the series does have a great future as there's something glorious about this period of British history.

So why does it fail? Why, because although the tale of battle and siege are the sort to be a page turner of most military readers. On the book's cover it states "if you like Sharpe, Jack Steel is your man". A clever marketing ploy used by the publishers to get Sharpe fans to buy it, but this series hasn't acquired that status yet by book 2.

Richard Sharpe stories are not without fault, but on the whole a cracking read. Jack Steel books are sadly not. Jack Steel is a bland character, and I thought by the second outing we may have had the character flushed out, but alas, its rather limp. I would recommend Mr Gale not trying to write a Sharpe story and concentrate on making Jack Steel original. That's where the faults lie.

The book opens with the battle of Ramillies 1706, two years after Blenhiem when something more interesting happened. Steel survives...and is sent on a dangerous mission involving, conspirators, Frenchmen, an enemy or two, and finally at the citadel of Ostend.

I think comparing this to Man of Honour, this is a better read. It just needs more 'ooomph'.

David Cook, author of Liberty or Death (The Soldier Chronicles Book 1) and Heart of Oak (The Soldier Chronicles Book 2)
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars I Really Tried, 14 May 2012
When I read "Four days in June a battle lost, a battle won, June 1815" which I gave 5 stars to, I said "I will unquestionably give Iain Gale's other stories a go". I have with "Rules of War" it was as though I was reading a story from a different author and I was so disappointed.

I tried I really tried I had been looking forward to another cracking read from Iain Gale and I didn't get it!
On the book's cover it says "if you like Sharpe, Jack Steel is your man". A smart tactic used by the publishers to induce the fans of Bernard Cornwell's Sharpe to go out and buy it, but Iain Gale is no Bernard Cornwell, now don't get me wrong the Sharpe stories are not without a flaw, however they are a cracking good read. I found Jack Steel a dreary character, and the story itself lacked pace, by the third chapter I had had enough and gave up.

This is a pity as the age in which the Jack Steel stories are set in is a very thrilling one from the point of how England dealt with her enemies and allies in addition to the army and navy, and we don't have many authors who write about this era.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Jack steel v's Richard Sharpe, 5 July 2014
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This review is from: Rules of War (Kindle Edition)
If you like Sharpe you really will love Jack Steel ,sorry for the oft repeated quote but this time it's true !
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Rules of War (Jack Steel 2)
Rules of War (Jack Steel 2) by Iain Gale (Paperback - 16 April 2009)
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