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31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Call to Arms - essential reading for military buffs, 27 Mar 2002
By 
Nicholas Peacock MA (ConnahsQuay, Flintshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: A Call to Arms (Hardcover)
I've been a fan of this series, right from the very first book. I never thought there would be an author to equal the 'Sharpe' series. Mallinson writes with the confidence of an author, who apart from his military background has an extensive knowledge of his subject.
There were instances in the book where I was reminded of the much missed Patrick O'Brian, in particular the owl. Regimentals, often overlooked in other works are entertaining and informative.
I avidly await further books in the series. Are we to see Hervey in the Crimea, I hope he reaches field rank at the very least, and possibly command of the Sixth Light Dragoons.
Bravo, I can recommend this book to any like minded military devotee.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A return to India - Hervey vol 4, 30 Sep 2011
By 
John Middleton (Brisbane, QLD, AUST) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: A Call To Arms: (Matthew Hervey Book 4) (Paperback)
This book is not action packed; it is more about the internal struggles of Hervey as he comes to terms with the loss of his wife and the leaving of his daughter with a governess and Hervey's sister Elizabeth - possibly at some cost to her hopes for a suitable marriage. We open in Rome (where coincidentally Mallinson was serving as he wrote the book) with Hervey having left his regiment and travelling with his sister. We then meet Percy Shelley, which is an amusing interlude, and catch up with Captain - now Commodore - Peto, who is perhaps a little taken with Elizabeth. There is a some brief road brigandage, but it is more or less pointless, and this little interlude closes with Hervey deciding to rejoin the sixth, which is being posted to India.

We then have Hervey's return as a Captain, and having to raise a troop - both horses and men - out of very little. We have scenes of training in India, and finally a mission, and some action at the end to close out the book. Hervey is no longer quite the naif he was, visiting a local prostitute (mostly offscreen) and questioning his religious faith: it will be interesting to see where this goes.

If all that sounds a little tame...well...I suppose it is, but soldiering is a lot more than battle. By the standards of "battle" a hell of a lot of Aubrey-Maturin is idle sailing around. What Mallinson is giving us is a fun story where much of the conflict is internal, within Hervey himself. As well as this, it is an accurate and detailed look at the life of a Regency-era cavalry Regiment. As a reader, you can feel the heat of India, the oppression of the jungle, the sweat of horse and rider. This is putting the history in historical fiction, and that's not a bad thing.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Superb, 31 May 2014
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This review is from: A Call to Arms (Audio CD)
Great story, part of a wonderful series.
Plenty of absorbing detail & illumination of interesting historical nooks and crannies.
Audiobook well paced & complements characters.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Slow but rewarding in the end, 2 Feb 2014
By 
Lee Hanley (London, England) - See all my reviews
There is a very slow pace to this book and not much action in the major portion of it until right at the end. However it is about the man and his journey so it is to be expected. The reward is the detail of how a cavalry regiment conducts itself in the colonial period, in particular its recruitment, training, transport to foreign lands, acclimatisation, the reactions to the politics of the region and short sharp actions thereof.
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4.0 out of 5 stars good read, 31 Jan 2013
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This series is compelling to read and I enjoyed it. Like Bernard Cornwall's Sharpe series, but not quite as good and became a bit monotonous toward the end, but enjoyable for the most part.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant!!!, 29 May 2010
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Aremess "AremessUK" (Littlehampton, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: A Call To Arms: (Matthew Hervey Book 4) (Paperback)
I'm a great lover of historical novels and have. over the years, followed the fictitious lives of Hornblower, Bolitho and Sharpe. I've read a number of other 'heroes' but have never found any others that grabbed my attention until my daughter bought me the first book in the Matthew Hervey series of stories. After just half-a-dozen pages I was hooked. Allan Mallinson delivers a superb blend of historical information and a truly believable fictional character, exactly what historical fiction requires. I'm now up to book 4 of the series and the quality has never faltered. I strongly recommend this book (and the series) to any lover of this genre. FIVE STARS
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8 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very well written - a good 'period piece', 15 Feb 2005
By 
Marcus Pailing (Bartlesnipe's Revenge) (Nottingham, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: A Call To Arms: (Matthew Hervey Book 4) (Paperback)
This is the second Hervey novel that I've read. I started with 'The Nizam's Daughters' and found it rather disappointing, with a confused and ill-explained plot. However, I really enjoyed Mallinson's style, and thought it worth my while attempting another. I chose 'A Call to Arms', rather than the next in the series, mainly because in this book Hervey returns to India. Mallinson handles the backstory well enough that it doesn't take up too much time, but it also doesn't leave you in the dark, so that was fine.

I am most impressed by Mallinson's style. He writes in appropriate language so that it truly reads like a period novel. His language is rich and he doesn't pander to people who can't be bothered to reach for the dictionary. It's as good as Flashman in that regard (although these books are *deadly* serious!). Sometimes I felt he 'protested too much' in his insistence on including period details - there was some repetition of people reading the works of 'Miss Austen' which, although accurate, seemed a little forced to me. But this is a minor irritation, and on the whole the period flavour comes across perfectly.

I haven't yet made up my mind whether I feel Mallinson writes action very well. In the previous books I found his description of the fights rather ponderous, and not really very exciting. Such passages are better in this book, but I'm not yet convinced. I don't hold this against him - he does it well enough that it's not laughable (as in many, many books), and he's clearly a good enough writer to get away with it.

I shall certainly be reading more of the Hervey novels - if you like 19th century military exploits, then they shouldn't be ignored!
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A CALL TO ARMS, 1 Aug 2009
By 
Mr. J. Cook - See all my reviews
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This review is from: A Call To Arms: (Matthew Hervey Book 4) (Paperback)
THE BOOK , A CALL TO ARMS,is another well written book full of new imfomation to me.
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A Call To Arms: (Matthew Hervey  Book 4)
A Call To Arms: (Matthew Hervey Book 4) by Allan Mallinson (Paperback - 3 Mar 2003)
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