Review – The Custom of the Army August 15, 2012Posted by thehypermonkey in 4 stars, Historical Fiction.
Tags: "book review", books, diana gabaldon, historical fiction, novella, reading, the custom of the army
Title: The Custom of the Army
Author: Diana Gabaldon
Publisher: Random House Digital, Inc
Publication Date: May 21, 2012
London, 1759. After a high society electric-eel party leads to a duel that ends badly, Lord John Grey feels the need to lie low for a while. Conveniently, before starting his new commission in His Majesty’s army, Lord John receives an urgent summons. An old friend from the military, Charlie Carruthers, is facing court-martial in Canada, and has called upon Lord John to serve as his character witness. Grey voyages to the New World—a land rife with savages (many of them on his own side) and cleft by war—where he soon finds that he must defend not only his friend’s life but his own.
The world of 1759 comes alive under Gabaldon’s pen. Between London’s electric eel parties and Canada’s frontier, everything is vividly portrayed. I was completely immersed in this world from the time I started reading.
The military’s procedures is extremely detailed as well. Not so much that it becomes tedious but enough so that you get a very good idea as to how things work. I was surprised at how simple the proceeding were for a court-martial back then.
John Grey has a strict sense of honor which is what sent him to Canada in the first place. His triumphs were intelligent and well-planned. Reading of his adventures were exciting and thrilling. He keeps to his honor even in the face of corruption. Grey is an intensely likable character.
This was a great novella that did end rather abruptly. You can forgive that when you balance all the other great qualities the book holds. It was a very satisfying read on the whole.