21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
Great War Writing, Cliched Characters,
This review is from: The Rose Of Sebastopol (Paperback)
The historical aspects of The Rose of Sebastopol are excellent. The horror of trench warfare and the inadequacy of the battlefield hospitals are effectively portrayed and not for the squeamish. McMahon also conveys the pigheadness of the British male in the mid nineteenth century very well. The contempt with which women were held in Victorian England comes through strongly and the sections that deal with their attempts at emancipation are some of the best in the novel.
Sadly, the story doesn't live up to the richness of the background in which it's set. The characters are cliched, bland and two dimensional and although the action and plot do drive the reader towards the end, the denouement is predictable in almost every respect. In addition, at the end, the whole thing suddenly grinds to a halt in a most unsatisfactory manner.
On balance, The Rose of Sebastopol is a solid 3 star novel. The story although told well, won't deliver anything you haven't read before but the vivid depiction of the period and the affecting war scenes rescue this novel and render it a worthwhile read.