Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Book Review: Mightier Than the Sword

Somehow I thought this was the last book in the Clifton Chronicles. Alas, it isn't so. The story will continue and I will probably have to wait a further year for another installment of the riveting story of the lives of the Clifton family, which is disappointing. While I did enjoy this book, I missed listening to it in audio form (as I have done with the other four in this series). There are so many details to keep straight and somehow listening cements them in my brain better. I enjoyed everything except for the bits about Harry Clifton trying to help a Russian author achieve publication of an expose book on Stalin. I could have done without that bit (merely out of disinterest), although I can understand why it was helpful to the plot development.

The book picks up with the cliff-hanger ending from the last book, where the reader is waiting to hear whether the IRA attack on the Buckingham ship has successfully scuttled the maiden voyage or not. It follows the woes of Emma as she attempts to steer the board of Barrington Shipping and the trials of Giles Barrington in his further bids for political advancement. By far the most entertaining aspect of the story centers on young Sebastian, who is on the cusp of an engagement to an American girl, Samantha, and also rising in his banking career despite setbacks, intrigues, and opponents. It seemed like someone was constantly scheming something in this novel.

Although this was probably the weakest book in the series, I will happily stick with it to discover what piece of evidence is waiting to be revealed at Emma Barrington's libel hearing, whether Sebastian will end up with Samantha despite their rocky road, what will come of their talented daughter, Jessica (named after Sebastian's dead sister), and whether Giles will finally get the girl from Germany. The ending wasn't quite as strong a cliff-hanger as in the other books of the series, but it still leaves you wanting to know more details. Archer certainly knows how to weave a lengthy tale full of twists and turns and engaging characters.

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