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"The Tricolor and the Scimitar: The Chevalier..." Topic

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488 hits since 13 Nov 2017
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP In the TMP Dawghouse13 Nov 2017 11:32 a.m. PST

…. Chronicles: Book One: The Adventures of Captain H Lie Chevalier in Egypt and in the Holy Land.

"The Tricolor And The Scimitar is the first historical novel in a brilliant and compelling four-part series that recounts Napoleon and l'Armée d'Orient ‘s invasion and occupation of Egypt and the Holy Land between 1798-1801. The book opens with the conquest of Malta in June 1798, and then to Egypt and the death march to Cairo, the Battle of the Pyramids and the annihilation by Admiral Nelson of the French Mediterranean fleet at the Battle of the Nile. Initially victorious on land, but marooned, Bonaparte and his troops soon face fanatical resistance, insurrection, guerrilla desert warfare, disease, ancient superstitions, slavery, harems, and the birth of Egyptology."


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Duc de Brouilly13 Nov 2017 12:11 p.m. PST

That looks like a Chinese pagoda on the hill to the right of the camel. Are we even on the right continent?

Andrew Preziosi13 Nov 2017 1:14 p.m. PST

He would have a better name if it was…

John Paul Jones Sinclair Lewis

And those look to be rice paddies in the distant foreground too!

dbf167613 Nov 2017 2:04 p.m. PST

The cover makes me pause.

Artilleryman13 Nov 2017 3:06 p.m. PST

You are right. That picture was clearly taken in the Far East. However, the outline story seems encouraging. This may be a good opportunity for getting the free sample sent to your Kindle to check it out. Always best to be careful. I learnt my lesson from one book where a leading member of New Orleans society in 1815 claimed that the people of the town 'knew how to party'! Needless to say I did not purchase the full book.

dragon613 Nov 2017 3:09 p.m. PST

Bactrian camels too

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP In the TMP Dawghouse14 Nov 2017 9:30 a.m. PST

I'm interested in the history…


MaggieC7014 Nov 2017 5:25 p.m. PST

The cover of this book is not the only thing wrong with it. And if you believe you'll learn anything new or worthwhile with regard to history, you might wish to reconsider. The first clue, other than the cover, is the fact that the author has yet to churn out the second volume of this riveting series. This one received only four reviews, from friends and family.

To begin, the author writes as if he had a stack of Osprey uniform books in front of him, and describes in painful, florid detail what everyone is wearing. He is particularly fond of varicolored plumes in bicorn hats, Hungarian boots (?) and tight pants. Nothing wrong with description, of course, but when it repeats on almost every other page, it becomes tiresome.

This author also wants to dazzle the reader with his research, although it is largely confined to the memoirs and secondary sources most of us grew out of ages ago. Easy enough to recognize, even if there are no attributes in the Kindle version. As a result, great blocks of text descend—many of us know these as "info dumps"—and contribute little if anything useful. At best, they confirm what readers already know; at worst, these info dump slow the plot to the consistency of molasses in January. The same applies to the unfortunate and highly irritating habit of dispensing information through the amazingly awful "As you know, Bob" type of dialogue where two people tell each other things ad nauseam they already know. This book has scores of unintentional amusing examples.

Since the book features French folks, readers apparently need to be reminded of this fact. A lot. By using French words and phrases interspersed with English, so any given soldier's speech is a hilariously inept mélange of Frenglish. This tendency carries over to the portions that feature Murad Bey and various other Mamluks, who one and all shout "Allah Akbur" at the drop of a scimitar. When some of them aren't bowing and scraping to the French, referring to every soldier as "effendi." Just to heighten the enjoyment, the rules of italicizing foreign words are applied with the same finesse—and logic—as tossing pasta against the wall to see what sticks.

There is also the issue of anachronisms, bane of far too many writers. So while we see the occasional French cursing, italicized or not, depending upon a whim, we see, often on the same page and in several cases in the same paragraph, blatant 20th century Americanisms. Sacre bleu!

Oh, there is the obligatory sex. In this case, by about the third chapter the intrepid hero has hooked up with a Maltese woman, and then there are the obligatory female stowaways, and encounters with dark-skinned Mamluk beauties. Some of it is actually funny. Most of it is boring.

But don't let my opinion dissuade anyone from reading this gem. Of course, if you are a fan of Griff Hosker's potboilers, you'll just love this one.

Sorry for the length, but I do reviews on Amazon and Goodreads.

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP In the TMP Dawghouse14 Nov 2017 9:53 p.m. PST

It's a novel… you know that no?…


MaggieC7015 Nov 2017 5:06 a.m. PST

Armand, we've had this conversation before. If an author writes historical fiction, then readers expect the historical basis for the fiction to be correct. The reader also expects the fictional aspect of the novel to be well-written.

I found the history poorly-presented for the reasons stated, and the overall writing to be generally poor, also for the reasons stated.

Asking if I know that this book is a novel seems rather inane under the circumstances, I think.

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP In the TMP Dawghouse15 Nov 2017 9:58 a.m. PST

Imho you have to read it first … and then kill it… the rest is speculation….


MaggieC7015 Nov 2017 12:27 p.m. PST

But I did read it, from the first page to the last. Did you think I hadn't read it?

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