The First to LandeBook - 1985
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China, 1900 ... This is the second book in the Blackwood saga. Captain David Blackwood, at twenty-seven, is already a hero of the Royal Marines Light Infantry and holds England's highest award for valour, the Victoria Cross. Nevertheless, he has yet to discover the ultimate in passion, courage, or fear. These he will experience in the bloody battles of the Boxer Rebellion. Blackwood's detachment is among the first to meet the fanatically cruel Chinese, roused to a frenzy of hatred for the "foreign devils" by their Empress Dowager. During one of the initial clashes between the British and the Chinese, the Marines rescue a German countess from whom Blackwood will learn some of life's less violent lessons. The detachment is ordered to escort her on a treacherous journey up the narrow Hoshun River under heavy fire. Blackwood arrives at his destination only to find that it has been burned and looted, and he is forced to turn back. Even the harrowing return trip pales, however, beside the task he faces on reaching Tientsin - to command a handful of men against wave after wave of suicidal attacks.
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