Thursday, November 15, 2012

Review: At Drake's Command by David Wesley Hill

Title:  At Drake's Command
Author: David Wesley Hill
Format: Ebook
Publisher: Temurlone Press
Publish Date: November 15, 2012 (Today!)
Source: I received a copy from the author; however, this did not affect my review.

Why You're Reading This Book:

  • You're a Historical Fiction fan.
  • You like adventure stories.
What's the Story?:

From "It was as fine a day to be whipped as any he’d ever seen but the good weather didn’t make Peregrine James any happier with the situation he was in. Unfairly convicted of a crime he had not committed, the young cook was strung from the whipping post on the Plymouth quay side when he caught the eye of Francis Drake and managed to convince the charismatic sea captain to accept him among his crew.

Soon England was receding in their wake and Perry was serving an unsavory collection of sea dogs as the small fleet of fragile wood ships sailed across the brine. Their destination was secret, known to Drake alone. Few sailors believed the public avowal that the expedition was headed for Alexandria to trade in currants. Some men suspected Drake planned a raid across Panama to attack the Spanish in the Pacific. Others were sure the real plan was to round the Cape of Storms to break the Portuguese monopoly of the spice trade. The only thing Perry knew for certain was that they were bound for danger and that he must live by his wits if he were to survive serving at Drake’s command."

My Two Cents:

"At Drake's Command" is a fascinating Historical Fiction novel about the infamous sea captain Francis Drake. I had never read a fictional book about Drake so I was very interested to see Hill's take on Francis Drake. I think the captain and his life as well as his various expeditions are fascinating. Told from the perspective of Peregrine James, a young cook that begs to become part of Drake's command after being accused of a crime that he did not commit, this book is a fascinating look at the larger than life man that Drake was.

This book takes place during a fascinating time in history. So many different countries were fighting to get their foot in the door in the "new world." The country that had the most and best shipping routes would win. Some of the countries were absolutely ruthless when it came to trying to secure their place. In this book, we get to see many of the different people that Drake and his men encounter. Some of them, like the Moors in Africa, are quite different. It was really interesting to see the different interactions between the various groups. Obviously with so much competition going on during that time period, a lot of the encounters are wrought with extreme tension and scheming. You get a good taste of what it must have been like to be under someone like Drake.

I loved that this book was told from the perspective of Peregrine James (he was a fictional character in case you were wondering). By seeing the story through someone who had a lot of face to face time with Drake himself, you get a good sense of what the man must have been like. I also just liked James' character. He is young but he seems to be very self-assured most of the time.

There is a lot of good historical detail in this book. You can feel the sea breezes, taste James' meals, and feel the roughness of London at the time. This book has a very abrupt ending but there is promise of a sequel!

Bottom line: A good historical read about a fascinating man!



  1. Now this sounds delightful mate. I too have read a few books about Drake's journey but am curious about the angle this one takes. Awesome review!

    1. I have a giveaway going on for copies of this book today!

  2. I'm not familiar with Drake, but now I'm really curious. I'm glad you enjoyed this one.

    1. I have a giveaway going on for copies of this book today!


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