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Dust and Steel by [Mercer, Patrick]
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Dust and Steel Kindle Edition

4.1 out of 5 stars 39 customer reviews

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Length: 403 pages

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Product Description

Review

Praise for To Do and Die:

'A finely-drawn depiction of battle and the camaraderie of war' Daily Mail

‘Mercer's prose is muscular yet silky smooth . His depiction of the experience of battle is unsurpassed’
Saul David, author of Zulu Dawn

Review

Praise for To Do and Die: 'A finely-drawn depiction of battle and the camaraderie of war' Daily Mail 'Mercer's prose is muscular yet silky smooth . His depiction of the experience of battle is unsurpassed' Saul David, author of Zulu Dawn

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 586 KB
  • Print Length: 403 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0007302746
  • Publisher: HarperCollins (29 April 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003P2WIWI
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars 39 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #102,942 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This is the second instalment of a series about the career of Anthony Morgan, a gentleman from Co. Cork who has bought a commission in the British Army's 95th Regiment of Foot. The first instalment concerened the Crimean War and this one follows Morgan through the Indian Mutiny (First War of Independence). It starts with the 95th's arrival in Bombay and the trial and gory execution of some treasonous sepoys and then the army moves north towards the final battle with the forces led by Lakshmi Bai, the Rhani of Jhansi. The Rhani is holding Morgan's erstwhile lover, Mary Keenan, and his illegitimate son by her as hostages.

For readers of Bernard Cornwell's Sharpe books this book will not be too foreign, there's a loyal Scottish sergeatnt and a dastardly and cowardly snobbish upper class English captain and there's a quest to save a lover. The battle scenes are good and the character of Morgan seems realistic, he's not a hero and feels real fear everytime he goes into battle. The historical background is well researched and although many of the characters are fictional the Rhani of Jhansi did exist and the major battles described did take place.

So if you enjoy novels about Military history here's the late 19th century replacement for Cornwell's Sharpe. The next book in the series takes Morgan into Afghanistan, along the Helmand River, so that should be interesting in a number of ways.
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By Michael Watson VINE VOICE on 23 April 2010
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This the second novel from Patrick Mercer also to feature Tony Morgan, hero of a previous campaign and embarking on another in this book. I have not read 'To Do and Die' but I know it covers the campaign referred to many times in this book, Sebastapol in the Crimea; similarly, several characters reappear to help or hinder the exploits of Morgan.

It is easy to see that the author knows his background and, indeed, his military career has given him a understanding of how the military reacts in time of conflict. In this story that conflict is the Indian Mutiny of 1857-1859 and the quest of the British (or English) Army to quell the mutineers, in particulat the Rhani of Jhansi and her fanatical followers.

Mercer writes well. His descriptions of battle allow the reader to believe he's watching the battles take place as though it were a film with a great number of special effects. Such was the brutality on both sides at that time, those 'special effects' were reality for some. His understanding of the realtionship between men and officers is excellent and I can only imagine that his own career has enabled him to write, too, with such believability.

Where, for me, the book lacks depth is in the main thrust of the story. For much of the book, as Morgan and the 95th move north, he survives near misses, those near to him who are wounded seem to recuperate very quickly and several characters seem to have nine lives whereas most of the enemy is dispatched with brutality and much descriptive gore. This is fine in terms of an action-packed storyline but one feels somewhat let down when the Rhani is finally cornered and when one of her aides is caught and, relatively speaking, made to pay dearly for his previous acts of barbarism against the English civilians.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This is a tale set within the mutiny against the British occupation of India during the mid 1800s. The author states that all of the battles depicted within are based on real ones, and even some of the characters are based on real people. Although the dialogue has been updated to a more modern style to make it easier to identify with the characters.

It is a fascinating and often repellent read, as the author goes in to quite extremely graphic detail about the battles and how people were treated by both sides involved in the conflict. I was at times amazed, horrified and ashamed to be British as I turned the pages. Definitely not one for youngsters or those of a weaker disposition.

The characters are quite likeable if a bit stereotyped, and the story fits reasonably well within the historical scenario if a little far fetched in places.

The only real problem I had, and the reason it has lost a star, is that the ending seems to be very abrupt. I will obviously not spoil it, but it left me wondering if I had lost a few pages from my copy!

A gripping tale from times gone by that will awaken the kid in most of us, but is certainly not for kids.
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By Nick Brett TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 26 April 2010
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
From the author of To Do and Die we have another military actioner featuring once again, Tony Morgan and the "fighting 95th" Grenadiers (The nails"). This time they have shipped to India to help put down the Indian Mutiny and enter a world of brutality where it is hard to tell friend from foe. Morgan's bastard son along with it's mother and her husband are caught up in the violence and Morgan may have to make choices between his honour and his family.
The author is an acknowledged expert on the Crimea and that was reflected in his first book, here his military expertise is apparent in very authentic action scenes where he captures the speed and hap-hazard violence of battle. His characters are interesting but this falls slightly short of his first novel, he does appear to rather easily despatch characters for plot convenience and he does rush into the story somewhat, you have to really focus to keep up with what is going on. I found his use of slang expressions of the time a little frustrating, some are explained in the glossary but many are not, so you have to work out what was actually being said, and this slowed down the pace of the book.
But this is still very readable and covers and interesting, if violent, period of British history. There will be inevitable comparisons to Bernard Cornwell as his is the benchmark that others strive to surpass and in truth Mercer has yet to reach the easy flowing narrative of Cornwell. But he knows his stuff and has an interesting cast to play with and I shall look forward to Morgan and the 95th's next adventure.
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