Sometimes the fate for which you are destined is not your own...
1845, a village outside Sydney Town. Humble blacksmith Ian Steele struggles to support his widowed mother. All the while he dreams of a life in uniform, serving in Queen Victoria's army.
1845, Puketutu, New Zealand. Second Lieutenant Samuel Forbes, a young poet from an aristocratic English family, wants nothing more than to run from the advancing Maori warriors and discard the officer's uniform he never sought.
When the two men cross paths in the colony of New South Wales, they are struck by their brotherly resemblance and quickly hatch a plan for Ian to take Samuel's place in the British army.
Ian must travel to England, fool the treacherous Forbes family and accept a commission into their regiment as a company commander. Once in London, he finds love with an enigmatic woman, but must part with her to face battle in the bloody Crimean war.
In this first instalment of Peter Watt's new series, Captain Ian Steele stares down the relentless Russian military...but he will soon learn that there are even deadlier enemies close to home.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Driven by a desire to shine a light on wars less remembered, Australian author Peter Watt offers a meticulous fictional account of the Crimean War in the first book of his Colonial series. It follows a humble 19th century blacksmith who schemes his way from the Great South Land into the Queen's army and a well-known aristocratic English family. Conflict is constant, and not just in the trenches, as Watt draws on the struggles of class and virtue and weaves threads of conspiracy and superstition into the tale. Towards the end, Watt shrewdly leaves those threads loose to build anticipation for the next instalment in the series.