The official blog of Historical Fiction author, Mary Anne Yarde, and home to The Coffee Pot Book Club. Come and join Mary Anne on the hunt for everything historical, as well as mythological. Oh, and let's not forget the odd book or two! Grab a cup of coffee and enjoy...
#BookReview — The Black Lions of Flanders (The King's Germans Book #1) By Dominic Fielder #HistoricalFiction @Kings_Germans
The Black Lions of Flanders
(The King's Germans Book #1)
By Dominic Fielder
In the war of the First
Coalition, friend and foe know one simple truth:
trust your ally at
your own peril.
Krombach has joined the army to escape the boredom of life in his father’s
fishing fleet. Captain Werner Brandt yearns to leave his post and retire into
civilised society and Lieutenant Erich von Bomm wants nothing more than to
survive his latest escapade that has provoked yet another duel. Each man is a
King’s German; when they are called to war, their lives will become
The redcoats of the 2nd
Battalion, 10th Regiment, must survive the divisions that sweep through their
ranks before they are tested in combat. On the border of France, the King’s
Germans will face an enemy desperate to keep the Revolution alive: the Black
Lions of Flanders.
pardon the authors of my death, and pray God that the blood you are about to
shed will never fall upon France…”
The reputed last words of King Louis
21 January 1793 at the Place de la
Révolution, King Louis XVI of France met with Madam Guillotine. When his
head was held up the crowd cheered:
“Vive la Nation! Vive la République!”
executing King Louis XVI was only the beginning. France, with her new
Revolutionary Government, had set her eyes on the rest of Europe. Eleven days
later France declared war on Britain. King George III of Britain and
prince-elector of Brunswick-Lüneburg (Hanover) was forced into a war. Only time
will tell if George III's Hanoverian troops — The King’s Germans — will be enough to
make the French rethink their plans.
Fielder’s debut novel The Black Lion of Flanders (The King’s Germans Book #1)
is a historical triumph. The storytelling is vivid, violent, and victorious.
Fielder has brought this era back to life in his masterfully written and vastly
a master puppeteer, Fielder has a firm control of a large cast of characters. Drawing inspiration from complicated historical figures, and, up
until then, one of the most turbulent times in French history, Fielder has taken the somewhat ambitious decision to describe both sides of the war. This was a risk, for
sometimes the constant chopping and changing of sides can confuse the reader,
but Fielder pulled this off wonderfully. Helped, without a doubt, by some very
memorable characters such as the Dragoon Captain, Beauvais and the beautiful,
yet resourceful, Countess of Marboré.
has an excellent eye for human detail — nothing is beyond the telling. His
portrayal of the harshness of a soldier’s life spares no detail, nor does he
spare his readers from the driving ambition of historical figures such as
Charles François Dumouriez.
There is also a richness in the descriptive text. Fielder describes this troubled time with great respect to the history but also with a wonderful insight of his readers.
The Black Lion of Flanders (The King’s Germans Book #1) is very much a story where everything seems to be balancing on the blade of a bayonet. I sympathised with many of the characters,
and I despised a few. But more importantly, I was swept along in a story that
was so utterly compelling from start to finish that time simply flew by as I
lost myself within the pages of this remarkable book.
Reading this book was like taking a step back in time, and as a bystander I
watched this story unfold. Together with the political intrigue, the soldiers
unrest and resentment, the poor preparations of the British Army, as well as
the complicated alliances, this story is a must read for those interested in
this era of history.
Highly Recommend. Review by Mary Anne Yarde. The Coffee Pot Book Club.
Dominic Fielder (1968-present) was born in
Plymouth to parents of families from Roman Catholic and Protestant backgrounds.
Then such things mattered to others but not to a first-born son who knew only
love and a stable happy family. Two brothers made for a warm and somewhat
idyllic childhood. He was bright but a disengaged student preferring instead to
spend time with his dad at the family book business (the Bookstall) where a
love of literacy flourished. Having finished sixth-form at Devonport High
School for Boys, he passed opportunities to join first, the Tank Regiment, then
the Royal Air Force, settling instead on a career in banking. Three years
later, fed up with counting other people’s money, he travelled to Australia for
a year, working for a time in the Outback and thoroughly enjoying life!
On returning to the UK, he drifted into work
at his family’s Comic Shop (Kathies Comics). Despite fifteen years of hard
work, the business failed and so did his marriage. Working a series of odd
jobs, with odd hours, he finished a degree course in History, gaining a First
and drifted into the world of education. Now he divides his time unequally
between private tuition, running the family book business which has survived
for sixty years and writing. More important than all of these, is spending time
with his son. With what free time he has, he enjoys cycling, walking and
horse-riding on the moors that surround his home in Mary Tavy, Devon.
His passion and interest for as many years as
he can care to remember has been ‘little model soldiers’, painting them,
researching facts about the regiments and playing wargames with them. For a
dozen years or more, Dominic ran a series of ‘Megagames’ where people would
arrive from all corners of the globe to game out World War Two scenarios for a
week. Such events needed a strong narrative and his first attempts at writing
were contained within the pre-game intelligence and the post-action reports.
His writing project, ‘The King’s Germans’ is a few steps further down that
road. For the person who drifted from one task to another, it’s a commitment to
write twenty-two years of the history of Hanoverian soldiers in the service of
King George III.