Wednesday, November 11, 2015

The Spanish Patriot by Nicky Penttila - #review

Some fly to war. Others flee it. No one is safe.

When the British army is sent into Spain to help expel Napoleon’s invaders, nothing goes as expected. Not for London newsman Sam Kerr, hunting a story that will win him the editor’s chair, who discovers one that could wreck his career. Not for the Wakefield family, loyalist refugees from America seeking peace among people of their faith, who find war has followed them even here. And certainly not for the British troops, whose mission of support turns into a fight for all their lives. Historical fiction set in Corunna 1808.



Bring your A-game to reading The Spanish Patriot.

Let me explain. I had had a rough go the day I started The Spanish Patriot the first time. So I waited until the next day and started over.

The Spanish Patriot is as richly worded and told as any book I've read about war. And it has the added benefit of being a historical novel, set in 1808. Most of the books I've read with war as a backdrop involve more advanced weaponry.

War in any age brings out the best and the worst in people. And the best and worst was happening all over Spain during this time as well. British soldiers and horses languished on ships in a harbor because the Spanish wanted them there as a backup, but wanted the action and the glory for themselves. Once the soldiers and cavalry came off the ships they marched back and forth across Spain seeing little or no action or supplies. Those supplies were in warehouses in Corunna due to what amounts to criminal mishandling by civilian suppliers (bribes et al). So many people and animals died because of all the snafu's - intentional or not.

Back in 1808, I would not have been able to post a review to my blog nearly instantaneously. I would mail off a story via the post, which would travel by ship back to my newspaper in another country over several days to a week. But blatant misinformation is a problem in every war, I'm sure. Troop numbers and locations were misquoted - it's a wonder anyone got anything done, military or not.

I did enjoy the character of Louisa ('Lou' for short). A woman, fighting for her desire to be a reporter, in an age where the best most women could hope for her future was to marry 'well'. She proposed and carried out actions that could put herself and others in danger, in order to get out the truth about the British mismanagement of cash and goods and how it crippled their army in and around Corunna.

The other major female character, Dona Sofia, was delightful as well. And old-school Spanish mama, she ruled the roost as much as her son Don Vitor Zancudo, Governor of Corunna. Let me tell you, don't nobody mess with Mama Sofia. As the locals were preparing the abandon the town to the advancing French army, she went back and chased off a band of British vandalizing her house.

If you enjoy sweeping stories set on an international stage, with complex and engaging characters, The Spanish Patriot is for you.



Nicky Penttila writes stories with adventure, ideas, history, and love. She enjoys coming up with stories that are set in faraway cities and countries, because then she *must* travel there, you know, for research. She lives in Maryland with her reading-mad husband and amazing rescue cat.


I am also featuring an interview with the author of The Spanish Patriot - Nicky Penttila!


Click on the banner to go to the tour page, where you will find more reviews of this book and links to other tours.  You can also find out how to apply to become a tour host yourself!

(Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book from the author and publisher via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours in exchange for my honest and unbiased review.)

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