Cover image for The sabre's edge
The sabre's edge
Mallinson, Allan.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
Woodstock, NY : Overlook Press, 2004.

Physical Description:
ix, 319 pages ; 24 cm
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1824. The Sixth Light Dragoons are still stationed in India and the talk in the officer's mess is of war. The Burmese are encroaching on Company land and skirmishes are common on India's borders. Meanwhile, across the country in Bhurtpoor the succession to the Raj has been usurped. The rightful claimant Balwant Sing has been forced from the throne by the war-mongering Durjan Sal. The conflict looks set to flair up into bloody conflict, taking the surrounding provinces with it. With the threat of war on two fronts the British troops must intercede. The trial ahead will test Hervey and his newly blooded troop to their very limits, for Durjan Sal has taken refuge in the infamous Bhurtpoor--a fortress surrounded by a deep moat almost five miles in perimeter, with thirty-five turreted bastions and the Tower of Victory built with the skulls of Lord Lakes' defeated men. Hervey can be sure of one thing: the siege of Bhurtpoor will be hot and bloody work. Once again, the fortunes of Matthew Hervey and his courageous troop will be decided by the sabre's edge.

Author Notes

Allan Mallinson is a brigadier general in the British army and is currently military attache in Rome.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Up-through-the-ranks cavalry captain Matthew Hervey returns in a thrilling new adventure set in colonial India. In 1824, Hervey's beloved regiment, His Majesty's Sixth Light Dragoons, returns to India\b . Facing external threats from the restless Burmese and internal conflicts between warring provinces, the British have their hands full securing the borders, quashing rebellions, and protecting the interests of the mighty British East India Company. When Hervey and his stalwart Dragoons are ordered to lay\b siege to a\b seemingly impregnable fortress completely surrounded by a treacherous moat, sabers clash\b and lives are sacrificed in the name of the empire. Mallinson, himself a cavalry officer, has an almost innate ability to bring both military maneuvers and battle scenes to life. This authentically rousing martial epic evokes all the sweat, gore, and glory of the British Raj. --Margaret Flanagan Copyright 2004 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

While Mallinson has been hailed by the U.K. press as rivaling Patrick O'Brian and Bernard Cornwell, American fans of swashbuckling adventure will likely be disappointed to find Mallinson (a cavalry brigadier currently British military attach? in Rome) too lavish with rarefied British military idiom and references to India's obscure past to attract comparable legions of fanatical readers. In May 1824, cavalry captain Matthew Hervey is seriously wounded while accompanying an expeditionary force moving inland through the Burmese jungle at the beginning of the monsoon season. Four months later, fully recovered in Calcutta, Hervey is ordered to take his troops over 700 miles to Delhi to serve as escort to aging Sir David Ochterlony, the British East India Company's political resident. Deploring despot Durjan Sal's usurpation of power at the ancient fortress at Bhurtpore (near Agra, the site of the Taj Mahal) and anticipating war, Sir David dispatches Hervey to reconnoiter the impenetrable defenses of the infamous stronghold. After devising a bold plan, Hervey is given the task of setting his stratagem in motion. Although the novel affords interesting social insights into the politics of British colonial rule, only a studious minority will find slogging through this jungle of gnarly prose worth the effort. Agent, Ed Victor Ltd. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved