Colonel Hague-Holmes has obviously researched this topic extensively and the text exudes attention to detail. As one who grew up with films like 'Zulu' this book was particularly fascinating. I was surprised at just how close the Prince's death occurred to Rorke's Drift which underlines the misfortune of events leading up to the tragedy. The book reads like a detective story, steadily releasing hints and clues about the ultimate outcome.
Anyone with an interest in French or British military history will no doubt find their knowledge greatly enhanced by this publication. I for one had no idea how great an impact the Prince's death had on the British public and senior levels of society, most notably Queen Victoria. While no doubt holding his own opinion about the events Hague-Holmes keeps these in check until the end to provide the reader with impartiality.
This has been my favourite read of the year but it would no doubt benefit by including more information about the author and the journey to publication. His military background comes to the fore and makes this work more credible than that of an historian simply digging out information from dusty archives. It is clear from his description of the preceding Franco-Prussian War that he understands all too well the initial excitement of recruits, the exhaustion of combat and the plague of bureaucracy that has cursed all armies down the ages. Overall this was an exceptional book and the author should be rightly proud of his achievement'