Sam fights in a fierce battle against the Danish Fleet, led by none other than Nelson himself, and against all odds victory is theirs. Peace is declared and Britain's war with most of Northern Europe is over. Sam can go home. But on the journey back, he witnesses a crime, for which he is framed. He is sentenced to death, but at the last minute his sentence is commuted to transportation to Australia. With petty thieves, vicious criminals, women, and other children, Sam begins an eight month journey to the other side of the world, and a life of slavery in the harsh Australian interior. He knows that against all odds, he must escape.
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(207mm x 145mm x 32mm)
Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
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US Kirkus Review »
Dowswell's nautical Napoleonic-era tale, begun in Powder Monkey (2005), loses steam in this sequel, which carries young Sam from Admiral Nelson's own quarterdeck at the Battle of Copenhagen to seemingly interminable wanderings through the Australian outback as an escaped convict. Thanks largely to his own stupidity, Sam gets into one scrape after another, including being "transported" to the distant prison colony on a trumped-up cowardice charge. But with monotonous regularity, a rescuer steps in before any permanent damage can occur, whether it be his steadfast buddy Richard or, more often, a hulking homosexual shipmate or some other conveniently appearing adult. As before, the violence of the naval action, underscored by Will's gut-wrenching terror, is sharp and vivid. But there's too little excitement, and too much tedious starving and stumbling about in the bush, to keep readers interested in his changing fortunes-or to care much when, at the end, massive plot contrivances bring him a pardon that clears the way for further adventures. A slow and leaky vessel. (Fiction. 11-13) (Kirkus Reviews)
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Author Biography - Paul Dowswell
A former senior editor with Usborne Publishing, Paul Dowswell is now a full-time author. He has written many non-fiction titles, two of which were shortlisted for the Blue Peter Book Award. Powder Monkey, his first novel, was published to huge critical acclaim and was the first book in his wonderful Sam Witchall trilogy. Paul lives in Wolverhampton with his family.