Tuesday, 10 April 2012


Last week Jack Caldwell was here at My Jane Austen Book Club as my guest , one of the many  stops in his blog tour for the launch of The Three Colonels - Jane Austen Fighting Men (see guest post). On that occasion Sourcebooks granted you readers of this blog two copies of the book, 1 e-book version and 1 paperback. The giveaway contest ends today and I'm going to reveal the names of the two winners in a while. But  first,  I'd like to share my review of the book with you, since I was lucky enough to read  it meanwhile. 
Did I like The Three Colonels?YES! One of the best Austen sequels I've read so far!


Jack Caldwell contributes  a male outlook on Jane Austen World. His  The Three Colonels – Jane Austen Fighting Men  is sequel to Sense and Sensibility  and Pride and Prejudice with hints to Tolstoj's War and Peace. It also  includes  characters from  other major novels by Austen as well as new ones created by Caldwell himself.  What Jane Austen had not even hinted at – the Napoleonic Wars – Jack Caldwell  brings forward  in this brilliant tale set in one of England’s most challenging  moments .

Bonaparte, prisoner  in Elba, succeeds in escaping  and marches on Paris .  King Louis flees the country so Napoleon declares himself Emperor of the French Republic. It is war again and the country is not ready.  Lord Wellington needs his best men and they must urgently answer the dreaded call.

Colonel Brandon will have to answer that call, for example. He has long been inactive and is now a very happy husband to Marianne and proud father of a baby girl, Joy.  He is one of the few officers Lord Wellington trusts in his enterprise to stop Bonaparte once and forever.   Useless to say  Willoughby steps forward  on hearing Marianne is alone at Delaford Manor.

Colonel  John Buford  - a new fascinating character with the reputation of being a libertine entertaining married ladies -  meets, wooes  and marries  Caroline Bingley.  She used to be rude, grasping, selfish and cold, but ... love can do magic. When she becomes Lady Buford she totally transforms herself  into a generous woman in love.  At first she probably  marries John Buford  for his position and for his charm, while he marries Caroline for her good looks and her  brilliant personality.  Nonetheless their mènage  will be filled with  intriguing, passionate and even highly dramatic moments.   

Since Lady Catherine De Bourgh has estranged her other nephew,  Fitzwilliam Darcy both  as her trustee at  Rosings Parks  and as her favourite elegible husband to her daughter Anne, Richard Fitzwilliam  is coping with the hard task to  substitute  his cousin in those duties.  While trying to save his Aunt’s property from total failure in a period of  deep economic crisis, he realizes  he has new feelings for Miss De Bourgh. Anne’s health has greatly improved in the last  years and she has gained energy and charm.  Colonel Fitzwilliam’s  new plans and affections will have  a hard time since, suddenly,  he has to leave for Belgium and meet other  duties. 

Even Wickham’s regiment must join Wellington’s Army but  he  doesn’t like the idea of going to war.  He hadn’t joined the army to fight in a war and he  blames Darcy for his unfortunate destiny. 

The historical scenario described by Jack Caldwell moves from  London to Vienna for the  1815 Congress . He deals with politics, of course,  but  he doesn’t  spoil the excitement and glamour of the social gatherings  nor renounces to use the typical  Austenesque light touch.

As Lady Beatrice Wellesley, cousin to Wellington,  says to Caroline Bingley (now Lady Buford) :  “ It is far different from the London society or even the Court of St James. Here empires may rise or fall. Wars may break out or be ended. This world attracts a certain type of individual – hard clever people who are used to having their own way and know how to get it”

This novel was a delightful discovery . Different from other sequels I’ve read , yet in the trend of the Austenesque  vogue, it champions love, loss, redemption, duty and war . It is a real page turner and a must-read for lovers of Austen - inspired novels and historical fiction in general.  

Are you ready to discover who the winners of last week's giveaway contest are? Here we go, then! 

The paperback of The Three Colonels is GranJan 
 while the e-book version goes to Luthien84! 

Congratulations to both of you. I'm sure you'll enjoy your new read! Many thanks to Jack Caldwell for being my guest and to Sourcebooks publishers for granting the copies for the giveaway contest


GranJan said...

wow! yay! Thank You so much!

Regina Jeffers said...

Congratulations, Sylvia and Jan.

Jack Caldwell said...

Ladies, congratulations!

Maria, thank you for the wonderful review!

Sophia Rose said...

I enjoyed the post.

Congrats Ladies!

Maria Grazia said...

@Jack Caldwell
Many thanks to you, Jack. Reading your book was just a delight!

Vava said...

I will most certainly read this book. Thanks for the review Maria Grazia.

Lúthien84 said...

Thanks to Maria, Jack, Regina and Sophia for your kind words. Just to let you know that I have successfully downloaded The Three Colonels. Many thanks to Jack and Sourcebooks.