Walls of Jericho by Jonathan Hopkins

Mr. Hopkins displays an evident love of his subject and a thorough knowledge of 19th century military methods, swordsmanship and horsemanship. His narrative is engaging and I found myself quite quickly turning pages as I became involved with the events surrounding the two main characters.

The plot isn’t a particularly new one, but it’s none the worst for that. To be honest, how many plots are there in this world? Many of the greatest novels ever written employ the “rich man’s fate entangled with his poor counterpart” theme and this one – at least until the narrative reaches the shores of Spain where our two heroes are sent to engage in the Napoleonic Wars – kept me engaged and indeed caring about the characters.

I’m afraid it lost me a little once I reached the account of events on Spanish and Portuguese soil. I expected a greater development of personal histories but was rather confused with the sheer weight of information about strategy and the ensuing battle. I was a little let down at how the story ended, as I had expected more detail about how the personal lives of the characters continued after the battle which had just been described in some detail.

I believe that this book will appeal to a particular audience, those who have a keen historical interest in military affairs of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The problem is, I almost feel it’s like two books, neither of which was quite rounded out in the way I would have liked. The first part is fairly “Thomas Hardy meets George Elliot,” with the second part being a land-based version of “Master and Commander.”

All that said, I believe Mr. Hopkins has a good grasp of English grammar (something increasingly lacking nowadays, even among the British!), writes intelligently, with wit and warmth and feel sure a lot of readers will get great enjoyment from this book.

*****

John Manuel

buy Walls of Jericho here http://www.amazon.co.uk/Walls-Jericho-Jonathan-Hopkins/dp/1849230307

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December 14, 2009. Uncategorized.

One Comment

  1. Jonathan Hopkins replied:

    Thank you John – I appreciate the comments.
    Anyone who would like a taster of the book will find the first three chapters posted on http://www.cavalrytales.co.uk

    Jonathan

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