Britannia’s Wolf by Antoine Vanner

Britannia’s Wolf is the first in a Victorian naval series and introduces Nicholas Dawlish, an intelligent and courageous naval officer who becomes entangled in both the military and political machinations of the Russo-Turkish war. The author weaves an exciting and believable story through a campaign which I knew very little about.

It’s obvious that Mr Vanner has done an enormous amount of research but never allows it to overwhelm the story. The writing is excellent, the story is fast paced and I wanted to read the next book immediately, which is always a good sign.

The thing that makes this series stand out for me, however, are the characters. The author draws even minor characters deftly while Dawlish draws the reader into his world from the first chapter. He is likeable, intelligent and brave but by no means perfect. He is also a man of his times and his struggle to deal with his growing attachment to a woman from a different social class is beautifully handled. Florence herself is a character I would have been proud to write and I’m looking forward to seeing more of her.

All in all, a fabulous start to the series, very highly recommended.

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