Release Date: 05/08/10
George Hart, back in England following his heroics in the Zulu Wars, scarcely has time to gamble away his meagre fortune when he is summoned to a secret meeting in Whitehall. There, Prime Minister Disraeli himself asks George to undertake a dangerous mission to Afghanistan. Mistrust and dislike for the local ruler chosen by the British is growing and Muslim extremists threaten to overthrow the local government. The British cannot allow the loss of Afghanistan, which would put at risk India, the jewel in the Imperial crown. Although he suspects that the Establishment sees a part-Zulu officer as expendable, George can see that his dark skin will help him go undercover, and soon, accompanied only by a Pathan guide, he is descending the Khyber pass into a strange and violent land. On the way he meets Yasmin, an alluring Afghan princess, and together this unlikely trio find themselves in a race against time to prevent a tribal uprising and head off a catastrophic British invasion.
Having missed the original fictional outing of George Hart (Zulu Hart) by renowned historian Saul David, I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect.
Whilst I knew it was historical fiction it is set in a time I really don’t know that much about historically so I knew that I was going in on the wrong foot but strangely excited to see what occurred.
What makes this story different is the author’s closeness to historical fact and whilst the odd little fact is twisted to fit the tale, the majority of it has the plausibility to have a ring of truth about it that will enchant many a reader.
The characters are fantastic, the tale building and weaving beautifully and with some seriously good dialogue as well as characters to meet within (some real some fictional) made this title very hard to put down. I’m definitely going to have to get my hands on the first book sooner rather than later to have a visit to Roukes Drift and review the carnage at “first hand.”