“The seventh novel in the Honor Series, which traces the career of Peter Wake, a nineteenth-century American naval seaman, is so vividly written that it’s easy to forget Wake is a made-up character. The book purports to be Wake’s first-person account of his mission to Indochina, in which a seemingly simple assignment (deliver a presidential message to the king of Cambodia) becomes a months-long odyssey in which our hero is set upon by pirates, gangsters, and even a nasty typhoon. The author introduces this volume (the first in the series narrated in the first person) by explaining how a anuscript, chronicling Wake’s adventures in Indochina, was found in a trunk in the attic of a recently deceased elderly woman; he also includes chapter endotes, elaborating on some of the historical elements of Wake’s account. Fans of the Honor Series will enjoy the shift in narrative point of view: Wake has a strong voice, and it is fascinating to see his world and his time through his own eyes. Readers unfamiliar with the series may want to start with an earlier volume, to get a better sense of the author’s writing style, but no doubt they’ll wind up reading the entire series, including this volume, in due course. Highly recommended for fans of naval fiction, especially Patrick O’Brian’s Aubrey/Maturin series, C. S. Forester’s Hornblower novels, or anything by Bernard Cornwell.” —Booklist starred review
Cmdr. Peter Wake, Office of Naval Intelligence, is in French Indochina in 1883 on a secret mission for President Chester Arthur.The novel opens with Wake aboard a riverboat on the Mekong River. The mission sounded simple in Washington: deliver the American presidents reply to a confidential naval offer from the king of Cambodia, while clandestinely assessing the regions political and military situation. Wake figures it will take two more weeks and hell be homeward bound.Six months later, after nearly dying at the hands of opium warlords, Chinese-Malay pirates, and French gangsters; after suffering starvation at sea, surviving a typhoon, being marooned on a beach, and enduring a horrific full-scale battle—Wake is still there. Exhausted, frustrated, and scared, he and his motley band of companions can now testify that nothing is simple in the Kingdom of Cambodia and the Empire of Vietnam.This story illuminates the beginning of the bloody cultural clash that lasted for the next hundred years in Southeast Asia, with each side determined to avenge their honored dead.The Honored Dead is the seventh in the award-winning Honor Series of naval historical fiction following the life and career of Lt. Cmdr. Peter Wake from 1863 to 1907, a time when the United States Navy helped America become a global power.The previous novels are At the Edge of Honor (winner of the Patrick D. Smith Literary Award as Best Historical Novel of Florida), Point of Honor (winner of the John Esten Cooke Literary Award for Best Work in Southern Fiction), Honorable Mention, A Dishonorable Few, An Affair of Honor, and A Different Kind of Honor (winner of the American Library Associations Boyd Literary Award for Military Fiction).
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