Command the Raven (An Uncivil War Series)

Written by M J Logue
Review by Lorraine Swoboda

1643. The English Civil War, Captain Holofernes Babbit, ‘Hollie’, and his rough-and-ready troop of Parliamentarian cavalry. A seasoned soldier, Hollie is a man who leads from the front and trusts his men are still behind him when he gets there. He is an honest man: he knows he’s not the greatest soldier, and gets things wrong; but he’ll give his heart and soul if the cause is just.

Hollie has had six weeks of convalescence after Edgehill, and it’s time to get back to work. With Cornet Lucifer Pettitt as his junior officer, and a circle of soldiers at various points on the scale of disrepute, life is rarely quiet, and conversation frequently ribald.

Involved in the attack upon Reading, Hollie is wounded once again and is ordered to serve under Lord Fairfax in ‘bloody Yorkshire’ – anathema to any Lancastrian.

In Yorkshire, Colonel Fairfax is accompanied by his wife and daughter, which adds an unexpected element to the campaign. A shortage of artillery and ammunition could be disastrous, but Hollie has other ways of mounting an attack.

If you want detail about warfare, this is not the place to find it. The battles are there insofar as they involve Hollie, but characterisation is at the heart of this novel.  The Parliamentarians are not stereotypical Puritans, but fully-rounded people from poor farmers to Earls, with humour and romance as well as defence of their country in their hearts.  Even some of the Malignants (Royalists) are seen to be men doing a job, and liking or loathing it as much as any man would.

Fast-paced, fun, and engaging, it can be read without knowledge of the first novel in the series, though it will leave you wanting to look for it.

E-edition reviewed