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On His Majesty's Service JanuaryGeorge IV is on the throne, Wellington is England s prime minister, and snow is falling thickly on the London streets as Lieutenant Colonel Matthew Hervey is summoned to the Horse Guards in the expectation of command of his regiment, the th Light DragoonsBut the benefits of long term peace at home mean cuts in the army, and Hervey is told that the Sixth are to be reduced to a single squadron With his long term plans in disarray, he undertakes instead a six month assignment as an observer with the Russian army, an undertaking at the personal request of the commander in chief, Lord HillSoon Hervey, his friend Edward Fairbrother and his faithful groom, Private Johnson, are sailing north to St Petersburg, and from there on to the Eastern Balkans, seat of the ferocious war between Russia and the Ottoman EmpireHervey is meant to be an impartial spectator in the campaign, but soon the circumstances and his own nature propel him into a active role In the climactic Battle of Kulewtscha, in which troops were engaged than in any battle since Waterloo, Hervey and Fairbrother find themselves in the thick of the actionFor Hervey, the stakes have never been higher or personal Ok mildly tedious with Hervey and Fairbrother ever so nobel endeavours I remember reading the A close run thing when it was first publishedf 1998 and I thought it was a bit coontrived, Hervey always just happens to be in the right place I wasn t convinved then, and I am still not convinced now. Brilliant evocation of a forgotten war, in a forgotten corner of Europe and of the state of the British army in the late 1820s Hervey is posted to the Black Sea Balkan region as a neutral observer of the Russo Turkish war in 1829 As one would expect, he finds it impossible to stay out of the action Much derring do ensues I didn t find this installment of the Hervey saga to be as engaging as many of the others Why Perhaps too many characters, too much contrived intrigue, little motivation for even Hervey to get so involved, I don t know Maybe I just wasn t in the mood after all, Irma was bearing down on us Still Hervey is posted to the Black Sea Balkan region as a neutral observer of the Russo Turkish war in 1829 As one would expect, he finds it impossible to stay out of the action Much derring do ensues I didn t find this installment of the Hervey saga to be as engaging as many of the others Why Perhaps too many characters, too much contrived intrigue, little motivation for even Hervey to get so involved, I don t know Maybe I just wasn t in the mood after all, Irma was bearing down on us Still, even a mediocre Hervey is a good read I love these novels, but I got a little bogged down in the minutia of the battle details in this one.

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