The King's Coat

Dewey Lambdin, Author
Dewey Lambdin, Author Dutton Books $19.95 (397p) ISBN 978-1-55611-142-6
Reviewed on: 06/01/1989
Release date: 06/01/1989
Comparisons will be made between Midshipman Alan Lewrie and Forester's Horatio Hornblower, but this auspicious beginning of a series has a very modern sensibility. In 1780, at the age of 17, our hero, bastard son of Sir Hugo Willoughby, is already a practicing rake in London. Caught in flagrante with his sluttish half-sister, he is banished to the Navy in a nasty ploy by Sir Hugo to rob the boy of his inheritance. During Alan's year on the 64-gun Adriadne , on the American-built schooner Parrot and on the frigate Desperate , he becomes an adept, even valiant sailor. There are foes at sea (a snotty fellow midshipman, a sanctimonious captain, American rebels) and ashore (Sir Hugo and minions), but there are also friends, notably Lt. Kenyon, skipper of the Parrot , and Lucy Beauman, beautiful niece of an admiral. Lambdin's crisp, gory action scenes possibly are marred for landlubbers by heavy nautical jargon, but graphic ribaldry involving a couple of older ladies needs no translation. (June)
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