The Generals by Simon Scarrow
The second volume in Simon Scarrow’s fictional account of the parallel careers of Napoleon and Arthur Wellesley (better known as the Duke of Wellington) takes us through Napoleon’s campaigns in Italy and Egypt, along with his meteoric rise to the head of the French state, and Wellington’s campaigns in Italy. While I enjoyed this one it was not as compelling and riveting as the first one. I found that the switching back and forth between the two generals was distracting, as one story was in full flight only to be dropped and the other picked up. On the other hand I found that the narrative presented the story of Napoleon’s abrupt rise to power in a much more understandable manner than I have read in any history book. It has always felt like a series of unconnected events followed by a statement “then Napoleon was in charge”. Scarrow has connected the dots in a way that it could have happened and in way that brings it too life in a believable manner. Another book that is highly recommended for the military history buff, or fans of Bernard Cornwell and Patrick O’Brian.