The Blooding of Jack Absolute

Written by C.C. Humphreys
Review by Lisa Ann Verge

The Blooding of Jack Absolute, a prequel to the previously-published Jack Absolute, chronicles the bawdy and eventful youth of the inexhaustible main character, a British soldier fighting in Canada during the mid-18th century.

Jack is a much-abused bastard in his uncle’s house when a series of events leaves him with a family, a name, and the promise of a wealthy estate. Sent off to boarding school in London, Jack does his best to seduce courtesans, win at cricket, fight bullies, and drink as much ale as he can. Trouble follows, and soon Jack is fighting a duel against his own cousin. His father—who recognizes Jack as a chip off the old block—intervenes, and ships him away from any nasty consequences: to Canada, where he’ll serve as a lesser officer of the 16th Light Dragoons. But Jack’s adventures are only beginning. He arrives just in time for the Battle of Quebec. During the fighting, French Indian allies try to kill him, but he survives only to become their slave. With help from an Iroquois brave, he escapes, but their timing is terrible—now they must survive a winter in the Canadian wild.

Eventually, Jack returns to civilization a changed man. He’s part British, part Iroquois, wiser, smarter, and harder—and faced with a critical decision: Which life should he lead?

C.C. Humphreys has written another raucous page-turner, rich in historical detail, full of action, freewheeling and yet utterly believable. Like Patrick O’Brian’s Jack Aubrey, Jack Absolute is a character strong enough to fascinate through many, many sequels. This reader looks forward to his continuing adventures.