‘Royal Flash’ is my second outing with that scoundrel Flashman and wonderfully entertaining it was too! Although personally unfamiliar with the Revolutions of 1848, when the story is set, MacDonald Fraser knits together fact and fiction in such a way that you can’t help be swept along, no matter how implausible the storyline. The start of the novel finds our man, Flashman, cooling his heels after the Afganistan campaign only to be swept up in a bizarre plot hatched by Bismarck and revolving around the Schleswig-Holstein question. Those who have read the 'Prisoner of Zenda' by Anthony Hope will notice immediate parallels with that story; in fact Flashman explains that this is because the story was plagiarised from him by its author!
This, then, is another hugely entertaining romp and only misses out on four crowns do to my ignorance of the period in which it is set. That said it is more than worthy of three crowns.
My apologies for the brevity of this review and post but I must get back to my 'must have' list for 'Salute 2012'. A recent estimate put the projected spend far too close to the current national debt; a little trimming might be required! Myself and the 'Provost Marshal' will be heading up from the 'Sunshine Coast' on the morning of the great event and I look forward to putting a few faces to names. Should be a great day out.