It is 1744, and Nicholas Ballantyne, a young Scotsman dreaming of a life as laird of his ancestral estate finds himself quite unexpectedly on the Winchester, a ship bound for Hindustan, seeking to begin a new life as a ‘writer’ on the rolls of the British East India Company. On board, he meets the spirited and mercurial Robert Clive, determined – at whatever cost – to make a fortune in a land of opportunity.
Over the years that follow, their friendship sees many twists and turns as Clive’s restless hunger for wealth and power takes him from being a clerk to a commander in the Company’s forces, masterminding plans to snuff out rival French interests in Hindustan and eventually leading the company forces to victory at Plassey, the prelude to nearly two centuries of foreign rule in Hindustan.
Brilliantly crafted, and bringing to life the momentous events that shook India in the mid-eighteenth century, Fortune’s Soldieris an epic tale of a fascinating era by a master storyteller.
I was the kid in school who loved sitting in the history class, when most of the other kids were snoozing, I was soaking in the our past, the decisions that brought our world, our country to the where it is right now.
Fortune’s Soldier by Alex Rutherford is based on the documents that were unearthed in an auction is the fictionalized story of Nicholas Ballantyne – chronicling his journey from the Highlands in Scotland to becoming an officer in the East India Company.
But it also more of a look into the different facades of the man Nicholas Ballantyne was – a soldier, a lover, a spy but most of all, the flawed human being, who ends up with the respect of the reader – his journey is not only eventful, but also shows immense character development, and ends up being one of the major positive aspects of the book.
The plot, though, does end up being a dry at times – which is understandable, considering that it is actually a historical fiction – but it is told in the typical Alex Rutherford way, that even political and war strategies – and ends up being quite fascinating.
It is also a wonderful character development of Nicholas Ballantyne throughout the plot – which is an astounding aspect of the plot – for Nichloas’s journey from the Highlands to a soldier in the East India Company; to a man who is not only respected but also admired for his tenacity.
Fortune’s Soldier is a historical fiction that definitely holds true to its plotting style – and if you have ever been interested in history; then Alex Rutherford’s Fortune Soldier is the perfect pick for the choice.
⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐