The Dragons of the Storm
Vol 2: In the land of whispers
George Robert Minkoff
McPherson & Company
Trade Paperback/351 pages
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". . . a literary banquet . . ."
The Dragons of the Storm: A poetic saga of Francis Drake’s voyage around the world.
Jonas Profit offers John Smith a look at what came before, bringing him to the New World and regaling Smith with an eyewitness account of Francis Drake’s daring proposition to find a Northwest passage to the Orient in order to bring wealth and fame to Queen Elizabeth I in the face of King Phillip of Spain’s mighty armada.
Francis Drake maneuvers the rocky shoals of Queen Elizabeth’s court to garner her favor for his intrepid undertaking. Investing his own money to fund and supply the voyage in secret, knowing that if taken by the Spanish he forfeits his life and the queen’s favor, Drake sails toward the southern tip of the newly discovered continent to dare the violent storms and find a quick and safe passage to the Orient and back to England. Barely out of port, Drake finds he has been cheated and his provisions are rotten and full of maggots. He returns and deals with the matter, loads fresh provisions and begins the first leg of his voyage, a feint along the African coast, before venturing in Magellan’s wake. Beset by foul weather, violent storms and mutiny in the ranks, Drake bargains with destiny for the ultimate prizes–fame and fortune–a devil’s bargain that will cost him dearly.
Jonas Profit, as George Robert Minkoff’s eyewitness, is an eloquent historian with a rare gift for prose that beggars the imagination. The Dragons of the Storm is the second installment in Minkoff’s In the Land of Whispers trilogy. Not having read the first book, The Weight of Smoke, I was confused by the first chapter, feeling as though I had arrived in the middle of a conversation. Once into the teeth of the tale, the beauty of the language shook me and the poetic rhythm of Jonas Profit’s rendering of history came alive with a force that left me reeling, reluctant to return to a more mundane present. If only history books were written like this.
The Dragons of the Storm is a literary banquet best savored slowly like fine wine as just as intoxicating.
Reviewer: J. M. Cornwell