The Sisters Brothers meets Master and Commander in Robert Hough’s rollicking and raucous new historical novel.
The year is 1664, and Benny Wand, a young thief and board game hustler, is arrested in London for illegal gaming. Deported to the city of Port Royal, Jamaica, known as “the wickedest city on earth,” Wand is forced by his depleted circumstances to join a raid on the Spanish city of Villahermosa. The mission is a perilous success, and Wand attracts the attention of the mission’s leader, an up-and-coming Welsh seaman, Captain Henry Morgan, whose raids on Spanish strongholds are funded by the British government.
While embarking on a campaign in the Caribbean, Wand and Morgan develop an unlikely friendship through a shared love of chess. As Morgan is corrupted by his increasingly sordid attacks on Spanish cities, he slowly becomes Wand’s greatest enemy. To defeat his former ally, Wand embarks on a strategic battle of wits and must help Morgan in the most savage and unexpected way possible. This is blistering and bawdy storytelling at its best.
Robert Hough’s novels have been nominated for numerous awards, including the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize, the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, the Trillium Book Award, and the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize. His most recent novel, Dr. Brinkley’s Tower, was longlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize and was a finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Award. He lives in Toronto.
Hough is noted for meticulous research…a well-told story
A gifted, natural storyteller…The Man Who Saved Henry Morgan is Hough’s most amiable book, its prose moving along like a perfectly rigged sloop-of-war.
Robert Hough’s novels reveal a capacity for carefully researched forays into strikingly esoteric areas… The deft conjuring of this world…is the novel’s greatest strength.
Bawdy and irresistible, this is an adventure you don’t want to miss.
…Hough’s latest is a genuine pleasure to read, and to be taken in by.
…a novel packed with rip-roaring adventure…