Title – The Lone Warrior
Series – Jack Lark #4
Author – Paul Fraser Collard
Genre – Historical Fiction
Length – 384 pages
Published – 14 July 2016
My Rating – ★★★★
With “The Lone Warrior” we reached the fourth book of the Jack Lark series written by Paul Fraser Collard. You can read about the other books here (The Scarlet Thief ,The Maharajah’s General &The Devil’s Assassin).
What to do with your life, when you are finally free to do as you please? After impersonating two British officers and being condemned and chased for it, Jack Lark has his own identity back. The problem is that Jack has nothing but his skill in battle. With no purpose in life, Jack travels from the Indian-Persian border through India intending to find a ship to carry him back home, to England. However, he is meeting a woman and agrees to take her home – to Delhi. Upon reaching their destination they find the city in uproar and are trapped amidst the 1856/1857 Indian revolution. Jack decides to join the British forces that are gathered to retake Delhi, which results in a bitter and cruel struggle.
The Indian revolution is quite an interesting subject, as it illustrates the problem of governing such a vast country and culturally as well as religiously different people. The lack of sympathy for the various believes and the locals’ treatment by the British officials resulted in this brutal conflict. Collard describes the atrocities committed by both sides in equal measure, which makes The Lone Warrior rather gruesome in parts, which the author clearly intended. The reader is deftly led through this chaotic chapter of Indian history with this well-composed tale we have got to expect from Collard’s popular series.
However, Jack Lark was rather difficult to grasp in this book. Would you agree to accompany someone you barely know to a destination about a thousand miles distant in a country that you do not know? Jack seems so lost to me that I had to pity him. If you have nothing but fighting on your mind and believe yourself to have only this kind of skill to be proud of must be a troublesome prospect and a lonely way of life. Combined with the revolting crimes described, I had a hard time to feel the excitement that I associated with the previous books. Rather, a feeling of deep sorrow upon such a turn of events was predominant.
The Lone Warrior is a really good, if in part hard to read (due to detailed description of the events) tale of the Indian revolution in 1856/1857. While our hero is utterly lost without any family or loved ones in his life and lacks purpose, the reader is forced to wish him well and see him through this conflict. We can only hope for better tides in the future for the lone yet headstrong Jack Lark.