King and Emperors

Written by Dewey Lambdin
Review by Anne Clinard Barnhill

This is the 21st book about Captain Alan Lewrie, Royal Navy. In this most recent adventure, Lewrie finds himself in Gibraltar, reduced to commanding a clutch of harbor defense gunboats while his ship, HMS Sapphire, slowly grounds herself on a reef of beef bones. However, that situation doesn’t last long, happily for Capt. Lewrie. When Napoleon invades Portugal and marches into Spain, Capt. Lewrie and the Sapphire are free to battle the King’s enemies again.

As chaos rumbles across Spain, Lewrie is right where he wants to be—where the action is. He ferries weapons to arm Spanish patriots, escorts advance units of British expeditionary armies and scouts within gun range of the impregnable fort of Ceuta.

Having read little material in the naval genre, I found the dialogue difficult and distracting. Perhaps because this was book number 21, I was unable to connect with the characters as deeply as I might have liked. There is some rambling in the storyline, which slows down the reading, often creating confusion. While similar in subject matter, this book is a far cry from something from, say, Patrick O’Brian.