1826: Napoleon Bonaparte is dead, the Congress of Vienna's work is done, and there is peace in Europe. However, in Portugal there is the scent of civil war in the air following the death of King John VI. Newly returned from India, Matthew Hervey joins a party of officers sent to make an assessment and lend support to the Portuguese queen. His place on the expedition is secured with the help and influence of his new friend, Lady Katherine Greville. But the Peninsula is a place redolent with memories. For it was here as a seventeen-year-old cornet that Hervey had his first taste of military action. The French had forced the British army into a gruelling and ignominious retreat until, under the leadership of Sir John Moore, they made a defiant stand at Corunna. In the epic battle that followed, Hervey and the Sixth Light Dragoons played their part in one of the Napoleonic War's most famous military scenes. As the wave of the French onslaught broke against the solid rock of British resolve, the tide of war was turned once and for all in England's favour. Now, with the Spanish threatening the fortress at Elvas, Hervey makes ready for battle once again.
Brigadier Allan Mallinson is a serving cavalry officer, and currently the British Military Attaché in Rome. Besides the Matthew Hervey series, he is the author of Light Dragoons, a history of four regiments of British Cavalry, one of which he commanded. He is also a regular reviewer for The Times and the Spectator. Allan Mallinson's previous novels featuring Matthew Hervey, A Close Run Thing, The Nizam's Daughters, A Regimental Affair and A Call to Arms are all available in Bantam paperback. The Sabre's Edge was a Top Ten Sunday Times bestseller and is published by Bantam Press.