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Harley Greenoak's Charge   By: (1855-1914)

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Harley Greenoak's Charge by Bertram Mitford is a beautifully crafted piece of historical fiction that takes readers on a thrilling journey through southern Africa. Set in the late 19th century, this novel transports us to a world teeming with conflicts, cultural clashes, and breathtaking landscapes, all expertly brought to life by Mitford's vivid storytelling.

The story follows the eponymous protagonist, Harley Greenoak, a young British soldier assigned to the renowned Frontier Light Horse in Natal. With his adventurous spirit and unwavering sense of duty, Harley embarks on a perilous mission to protect the region from hostile tribes and maintain British control over the land. As he ventures deeper into the heart of the untamed African wilderness, Harley encounters an array of intriguing characters, each with their own motivations and secrets that add depth and complexity to the narrative.

What sets Harley Greenoak's Charge apart from other historical novels is Mitford's meticulous research and authentic portrayal of the African landscape. From the picturesque plains to the dense jungles, every setting is vividly described, immersing readers in the richness of the environment. Mitford's attention to detail extends beyond the scenery, as he presents us with a wealth of cultural nuances, traditions, and folklore, shedding light on the complex dynamics between the British colonial forces and the indigenous tribes.

The pace of the story is relentless, and readers will find themselves eagerly flipping through the pages, unable to put the book down. Mitford skillfully incorporates elements of adventure, romance, and suspense, creating a multifaceted plot that keeps us on edge until the very end. Alongside the action-packed sequences, moments of introspection and personal growth make this book more than just a thrilling tale – it becomes a poignant exploration of human resilience and the intricate bonds that form in times of adversity.

Another strength of Mitford's writing is his well-developed characters. Harley Greenoak, in particular, undergoes a remarkable transformation throughout the story. As we witness his growth from a naively idealistic soldier to a seasoned warrior, we become deeply invested in his journey. Supporting characters, such as local tribespeople and his comrades-in-arms, are equally engaging, displaying a range of personalities and motivations that add depth and authenticity to the narrative.

My only slight criticism of the book is that the dialogue occasionally feels a touch stilted and overly formal, but this is a minor flaw in an otherwise outstanding work. Overall, Harley Greenoak's Charge is a remarkable historical-fiction novel that combines adventure, romance, and insightful social commentary into an unforgettable reading experience.

Bertram Mitford's intricate storytelling, captivating setting, and well-drawn characters make this book a must-read for fans of historical fiction and African history. Whether you are a lover of adventure or seeking to delve into an era marked by cultural clashes, Harley Greenoak's Charge will transport you to a bygone era, leaving you captivated and emotionally invested until the final page.

First Page:

Harley Greenoak's Charge, by Bertram Mitford.




"You will look after him, won't you?"

"Certainly. You can rely upon me absolutely."

Thus two men on the deck of a ship. One was silver haired, elderly, spare and very refined looking. The other, of medium height, broadly built, and middle aged, was, in his way, of striking appearance. His strong face, lined and sun tanned, was half hidden in a full, iron grey beard, and the keen blue eyes with their straight glance, were of that kind which would be deadly looking at you from behind the sights of a rifle. His hands, rough and hard, were like his face, burnt almost to a mahogany brown, the result of forty five years' exposure man and boy to the varying climates of the southern section of the African continent. And the first speaker was Sir Anson Selmes, Bart., and the second was Harley Greenoak, hunter, prospector, native trader, native fighter, stock farmer, transport rider, and other things all in turn. And as he plays an important part in some strange adventures which are to befall, we have dwelt somewhat at length upon his personal aspect... Continue reading book >>

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