Top positive review
One person found this helpful
on 1 March 2015
I really struggled to put down this book. It's another hilarious instalment of the Flashman books with Flashy himself lying, scheming and seducing his way through an adventure he'd really rather not be a part of.
Of course it has the usual George Macdonald Fraser problem of caring nothing for political correctness, and with Flashy travelling to both Singapore and Madagascar there is quite the spectrum of racist language. However, it is to me entirely justified by the historical context and Flashman's character, and never feels as if it is used with more venom or flippancy than necessary.
The historical context itself really is fascinating. The Imperial aspect of Victorian-age Britain never quite seems to get the attention it deserves (at least here in Britain) and if you knew Victorian history at school as being one long tide of misery and despair as children starved or were crippled in factories the Flashman series will show you an entirely different perspective. Fraser has (well, had) a real knack for immersing you in history without boring you with it, and by the end of the novel I did find myself wanting to know more about Queen Ranavalona, James Brooke and the rest of the real-life characters. The only thing I wanted to read more was the next Flashman book, which I bought immediately after.