Book: Fortune’s Soldier
Author: Alex Rutherford
Price: Rs. 599
Back from his studies, Nicholas Ballantyne, the future Laird of Glenmire is all set to blend into the life at Scotland, when certain unforeseen circumstances has him aboard Wenchester, a ship en route Hindustan. Upon the insistence of his uncle James Ballentyne, he is supposed to begin a new life as a writer with the British East India Company. During the journey he befriends Robert Clive, a young lad determined to make a fortune in Hindustan. As years pass by, they steadily climb up the power ladder and devices plans together to defeat their rivals -the French. Will their friendship withstand the tests of time? Will they rise from the numerous battles against the French?
Alex Rutherford is known for his Empire of the Moghul Series, based on the powerful Moghul dynasty in India. A highly-praised series (that I haven’t read), when Fortune’s Soldier released, my expectations were high. Although the story had a slow start, it quickly picked up the pace. Rutherford has done a great job in portraying the events of mid-eighteenth century India. I immediately liked Nicholas’s character – brave, strategic and a man of principles. He is often seen to be in conflict with Clive’s opposing nature, whether it is to loot after a battle or to strive for power. The relationship between Nicholas and Clive has also been portrayed well.
Rutherford has vividly portrayed each battle- I could imagine each scene in my head like it was happening right in front of me. However, in the second half, the story got so monotonous that I had a hard time finishing the book. Even all the battles were pretty much the same. The story did not have much to offer, with even the climax being ordinary.
Fortune’s Soldier by Alex Rutherford brings alive the beginning of the British Empire in India. An interesting fact that I came across while reading about the author is that Alex Rutherford is the pen name of a writer couple, Diana Preston and Michael Preston (How cool is that! ). If you are a fan of historical fiction, you may like the book. Though it had a promising start, the book failed to impress against my expectations.
PS: I received a copy of the book from the publisher’s for the #FortunesSoldier Blog and Social Media Tour