Monday, 28 September 2015
The adventures of Captain Innocent Stryker
Anyway, in the meantime I have been keeping my toe in the ECW period with a bit of fiction set during the war. Namely, the adventures of Captain Innocent Stryker.
Captain Stryker is the creation of author Michael Arnold. A reluctant Royalist Officer, he and his sidekick Sergeant are grizzled veterans of the continental campaigns of the Thirty Years War. As such, they have a much more jaded view of the war and what it will do eventually to their homeland. He is frequently compared to Bernard Cornwell's Richard Sharpe - in fact this comparison is done with monotonous regularity by reviewers but notwithstanding this is a pretty accurate.
The series of books takes the main cast of characters through the opening battles of the ECW with an interesting plot line running throughout all the different books. Though I think the first couple were the best, I quite enjoyed all of them. They gave a really interesting perspective to the lifestyles and language of the period, as well as how the skirmishing and fighting tactics of the period worked. While there is also a good measure of artistic license, it also gives a good perspective of how the command chains of both armies worked, the impacts of suffering from poor logistics processes, and the impact of certain personalities.
Overall, if you are an ECW aficionado and want some entertaining reading to immerse yourself in the period, then this series is for you! But be warned, it will have you hankering to play some Pike and Musket skirmish gaming, which is the level that most of the books' actions is set.
The author's webpage also has some interesting resources which are worth checking out.
Any recommendations for other ECW era fiction?
[EDIT] Steve the Warmer has just posted a review of Marsten Moor at his blog here: