Work Title: A Matter of Honor
Work Author(s): William C. Hammond III
416 pages, Hardcover $26.95
Reviewer: Peyton Moss
By the end of A Matter of Honor, its young hero Richard Cutler has acquired an amazing curriculum vitae---perhaps too amazing for some readers. He first appears in 1777 as a Massachusetts teenager, scion of a well-to-do family of merchant traders with deep roots in England. But Richard's grudge against Empire and tyranny runs even deeper: his beloved older brother has been impressed into the Royal Navy, then flogged to death for insubordination. As the book opens, Richard is being sized up as a potential midshipman by none other than John Paul Jones. Before it's done, he will have met and won the respect of such other luminaries as Ben Franklin, John Adams, and the Marquis de Lafayette, not to mention the hearts of both an aristocratic French mademoiselle and the beautiful daughter of a British naval officer, former captain of a First-Rate man o'war.
There's eighteen-century nautical lore aplenty, as well as blood-and-thunder famous battles by both land and by sea. The action scenes are vivid and cinematic and the history is accurate, yet there's an oddly fairy-tale quality to the book. For one...