This is the first in a quartet of novels about Wellington and Napoleon, covering the years 1769-1795. Arthur Wesley is a sickly boy from impoverished Irish aristocracy who is only good at one thing: playing the violin. Napoleon is a hot blooded, physical boy who quickly resorts to violence when provoked. Both opt for a military career as a way to further their ambitions. Despised by the French military establishment as a Corsican, Napoleon has only his ambition and his talents as a natural leader to help him, while Wesley uses his family connections to help his career until he is able to establish his reputation in Flanders.
This series represents a change of direction for Simon Scarrow, who is well known for his Eagle series set in the Roman Empire. This is a worthy addition to the many books which have been written on both Wellington and Napoleon. It is well written, researched and a pleasure to read. Recommended.