Sometimes the fate for which you are destined is not your own...
1845, in a village outside Sydney Town. Eighteen-year-old Ian Steele, humble blacksmith and son of a soldier, struggles to support his frail and widowed mother. All the while he dreams of a life in uniform, serving in Queen Victoria's army.
1845, Puketutu, New Zealand. Second Lieutenant Samuel Forbes, born to an aristocratic English family, fights the urge to run from the advancing Maori warriors. Two years before, Samuel's father had purchased a commission in an infantry unit and left him at the gates of the regiment, hoping the military would harden the young poet's sensitive spirit.
When Samuel finally flees, he seeks refuge with his outcast uncle in the brand new colony of New South Wales. There he meets Ian; uncannily similar in appearance, yet remarkably different in temperament, the two men hatch a plan for Ian to replace Samuel in both the military and the Forbes dynasty.
Once in England, Ian must fool Samuel's family and is commissioned as a captain into the family's regiment as a company commander. He finds love with an enigmatic woman and faces battle in the bloody Crimean war, where he earns the nickname 'The Queen's Colonial'.
In this first instalment of Peter Watt's new series, Ian Steele stares down the relentless Russian military... but he will soon learn that there are far deadlier enemies close to home.
About the Author
Peter has been a soldier, articled clerk to a solicitor, prawn trawler deckhand, builder's labourer, pipe layer, real estate salesman, private investigator, police sergeant and adviser to the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary. He has lived and worked with Aborigines, Islanders, Vietnamese and Papua New Guineans and speaks, reads and writes Vietnamese and Pidgin. He now lives at Maclean, on the Clarence River in northern New South Wales. He is a volunteer firefighter with the Rural Fire service, and is interested in fishing and the vast opens spaces of outback Queensland.