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Britannia's Wolf

(The first book in the Dawlish Chronicles series)
A novel by

This is the 4th volume chronologically of The Dawlish Chronicles naval fiction series – action and adventure set in the age of transition from sail to steam in the last decades of the 19th Century.

It’s late 1877 and the Russian and Ottoman-Turkish Empires are locked in a deadly as the war between them 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 in naval combat and Cossack lances and merciless Kurdish irregulars in battles ashore. But more than warfare is involved, for Dawlish finds himself a pawn in the rivalry of the Sultan’s half-brothers for control of the collapsing empire.

And in the midst of this chaos, unwillingly and unexpectedly, Dawlish finds himself drawn to a woman whom he believes he should not love. Neither for his own sake, nor for hers…

Britannia’s Wolf is more than a work of historical naval fiction, or a tale of war and military conflict, for its protagonist is more familiar with steam, breech-loaders and torpedoes than with sails, carronades and broadsides. Later volumes in this naval fiction series chart Dawlish's further rise in the Royal Navy. As a boy in the late 1850s he has joined a navy still commanded by veterans of the Napoleonic Wars. But now, in the 1870s, sail is yielding to steam, new technologies are creating new weapons and established international power-balances are shifting. Against the background of real historical events Dawlish has to confront challenges inconceivable to earlier generations of officers.

From a review in Quarterdeck Magazine, Spring 2014:

“… Action dripping from every page, Britannia’s Wolf captures the reader’s interest, with international tension, as well as the internal friction between various Ottoman political factions. Equally intriguing are the military details – ship’s armaments, weapon types and their sources. All told, the novel captures a period not often noticed, but worthy of being so.”

Why The Dawlish Chronicles series?

I’ve enjoyed sea stories and naval fiction since I was introduced to C.S. Forester’s Hornblower books when I was a boy,” says author Antoine Vanner , “and I’ve never tired since of stories of action and adventure by land and by sea. The Napoleonic era has however come to dominate the war and military genre but the century that followed it was one no less exciting, an added attraction being the arrival and adoption of so much new technology. I’ve reflected this in the Dawlish Chronicles and for this reason, I’m pleased that nautical author Joan Druett has described me as ‘The Tom Clancy of historical naval fiction.’ My novels have as their settings actual events of the international power-games of the period and real-life personalities usually play significant roles. Britannia’s Wolf is no exception to this and key roles are played by the Ottoman Sultan Abdul-Hamid II and by Hobart Pasha, the amazing head of the Turkish Navy, an ex-Royal Navy officer who had also seen service as a Confederate blockade-runner in the American Civil War.”

Genre: Historical

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