Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Armada by John Stack


Some of the time, when one looks at the cover of a work of fiction, you might get a sense of what is waiting inside, but most of the time you don’t. The cover of John Stack’s new book, Armada, leaves no doubt. On the cover is a giant 16th century warship, its sails billowing, surrounded by other ships and fire.

All of us in school likely learned about the defeat of the Spanish Armada at the hands of Sir Frances Drake in 1587. This book makes that period of history come alive. The main character, a lowborn Englishman named Robert Varian, is a skilled sailor. His courage and bravery as a naval officer earn him a position as a trusted officer in Drake’s navy. But Robert guards a dangerous secret - he is a Catholic. Discovery of his secret would cost him his life.

Robert is ahead of his time, and able to separate church and state. He believes it is possible to fight for England and the queen while still following his conscience. He does not believe that England’s best interests lie with the Spanish crown.

Armada is rich is military and naval history and sure to please fans of those genres.

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