Eric_W's Reviews > The King's Commission

The King's Commission by Dewey Lambdin
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's review
Nov 28, 2008

really liked it
bookshelves: nautical-fiction
Read in January, 2001

It seems, judging from hints in this third volume, that Lewrie has managed to clear himself of the charges maliciously leveled by his erstwhile father, and gained a bit of glory for himself in the process. Lt. Kenyon returns to haunt him briefly, but Alan parries Kenyon’s attempts to get Alan into deep water by reminding Kenyon of his (Kenyon’s) own sordid past with sodomistic pleasures, and this prevents Kenyon from sabotaging Alan’s successful promotion to a commission: his lieutenancy. He is forthwith accidentally posted as first lieutenant to a small brig, the Shrike. Normally, a new lieutenant would have been assigned as third lieutenant on a large 3rd or 2nd rated ship to learn the trade, so Alan has to learn everything quickly, on-the-job. Typically, Alan becomes embroiled in a substantial amount of woman trouble almost immediately while in Jamaica. He resumes his torrid affair with Betty Hillwood, a married woman of rapacious nature, while simultaneously courting the beautiful Lucy, daughter and heir to the Beaumann fortune. Betty is rather domineering and grasping, and when Alan declines her wish to become her gigolo – not wishing to lose his freedom to plow as many fields as possible -- he has to deftly use some malicious gossip of his own to prevent her from totally ruining his reputation. He fares better at sea, where he has discovered a veritable talent for seamanship, and his encouragement of the long-suffering Captain Lilycrop to daringly raid Spanish shipping along the coast (the shallow-drafted Shrike can sail in much less depth, preventing deeper-keeled warships further offshore) brings them a small amount of fame and more prize-money for themselves and the admiral. As a reward, they are ordered to take on a mission with some envoys to see if they can’t garner the support of the Creeks in the Carolinas. The War of the Rebellion is not going well for the British and they want to enlist support of the Indians against the rebels to hold on to the southeastern colonies, if possible, and maintain control of Charleston. By the end of this volume, Lewrie has served in an abortive mission off Turk Island and through happenstance, obtained the captaincy of the Shrike. But knowing Lewrie, he’s bound to get into some kind of trouble. In the next volume, The King’s Privateer.

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