Book – Fortune’s Soldier
Author – Alex Rutherford
Publisher – Hachette India
Genre – Historic Fiction
No. of pages – 448
Ratings – 3.75/5
About the book –
It is 1744, and Nicholas Ballantyne, a young Scotsman dreaming of a life as laird of his ancestral estate finds himself quite unexpectedly on the Winchester, a ship bound for Hindustan, seeking to begin a new life as a ‘writer’ on the rolls of the British East India Company. On board, he meets the spirited and mercurial Robert Clive, determined – at whatever cost – to make a fortune in a land of opportunity.
Over the years that follow, their friendship sees many twists and turns as Clive’s restless hunger for wealth and power takes him from being a clerk to a commander in the Company’s forces, masterminding plans to snuff out rival French interests in Hindustan and eventually leading the company forces to victory at Plassey, the prelude to nearly two centuries of foreign rule in Hindustan.
Brilliantly crafted, and bringing to life the momentous events that shook India in the mid-eighteenth century, Fortune’s Soldier is an epic tale of a fascinating era by a master storyteller.
The story starts with Nicholas staying in the highlands of Scotland where his uncle somehow manages and convinces him to go to Hindustan. Were his intentions genuine as a family or was there a back drop to it?
His journey from Scotland to India is beautifully described while they were sailing their way. This was where I developed an interest to keep on reading this book. The way the climate and the smell of Hindustan, the culture was described made me feel happy somewhere.
The book is based on the time period when the East India Company was in power. The book is fast paced filled with many adventures, wars, friendship and politics. I loved the way the author had described Nicholas and Clive’s friendship. The characters are developed in a brilliant way. Especially the protagonists, Clive and Nicolas.
It also give a rich insights to politics and the way of working of the East India Company. I felt that the plot at a point of time was very stretched but eventually the story picked up the pace. The emotional factor was at times missing which made it difficult for me to connect but the historic events and characters are highlighted nicely.
There is a list of characters in the very beginning of this novel which makes it less confusing. If Historic Fiction is one of your favourite genre, pick this book up! Also, if you like to read about History, Wars and Adventures, this book might serve you.
Few Quotes –
The only advice I have is Carpe Diem – enjoy your life while you can. Tomorrow you may be gone.
You can do well, but only after you stop feeling sorry about yourself. You need to be more like me – determined above all to succeed – letting nothing and nobody stand in your way.
If you don’t take some risk, you can’t succeed.
You can buy this book from here.