Monday, November 15, 2010

FLOATING GOLD review from

Floating Gold By Margaret Muir

Captain Oliver Quintrell is hoping for a ship, but the recent Treaty of Amiens and his equally recent injuries make this rather unlikely. But even if he cannot sail off to war, there are other uses for a naval captain and his is to ensure safe passage for a convoy of merchantmen. He also has some sealed orders that have to be opened when he has reached a certain place…

I think Ms Muir is that rarest of rare birds, an author who can fill a fat novel with a long story. Unfortunately she does not get the chance this time, but there is a feeling in this book that despite its comparative brevity what we are getting is a shortened version of a much longer tale. I enjoy naval fiction and was impressed with this tale of sealed orders, adventures, uncharted waters and mysterious happenings. As sea stories go this one ticks all the boxes, and it isn’t even set during wartime. Ms Muir is adept at characterization, plotting and descriptions as well as showing that she knows one end of a ship from the other. We are promised on the flyleaf “unknown dangers and unspeakable horrors” and although I can promise some of these, I wonder what the book would have been like if it had been twice, or three times as long. We will never know, but I reckon it might have been a contender for my top ten books of the year. As it is this is highly recommended, and I do hope the first in a new series.
© 2010

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