1880. On a broad river deep in the heart of South America, a flotilla of paddle steamers thrashes slowly upstream. Laden with troops, horses and artillery, intent on conquest and revenge. Ahead lies a commercial empire that was wrested from a British consortium in a bloody revolution. Now the investors are determined to recoup their losses and are funding a vicious war to do so. Nicholas Dawlish, an ambitious British naval officer, is playing a leading role in the expedition. But as brutal land and river battles mark its progress upriver, and as both sides inflict and endure ever greater suffering, stalemate threatens.
Antoine Vanner has survived military coups, a guerrilla war, storms at sea and life in mangrove swamps, tropical forest, offshore oil-platforms and the boardroom. He has lived and worked long-term in eight countries, has travelled widely in all continents except Antarctica and is fluent in three languages. He has a passion for nineteenth-century political and military history and has a deep understanding of what was the cutting-edge technology of the time. His knowledge of human nature and his first-hand experience of the locales – often surprising – of the most important conflicts of the period provide the impetus for his chronicling of the life of the Royal Navy officer Nicholas Dawlish.
Books by Antoine Vanner
Britannia's Wolf is the first novel in the Dawlish Chronicles series. It is set in 1877 when the vicious Russo-Turkish War is reaching its climax. A Russian victory will pose a threat to Britain’s strategic interests. To protect them an ambitious British naval officer, Nicholas Dawlish, is assigned to the Ottoman Navy to ravage Russian supply-lines in the Black Sea. In the depths of a savage winter, as Turkish forces face defeat on all fronts, Dawlish confronts enemy ironclads, Cossack lances and merciless Kurdish irregulars, and finds himself a pawn in the rivalry of the Sultan’s half-brothers for control of the collapsing empire.