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Simon Fonthill Books In Order

Publication Order of Simon Fonthill Books

The Horns of the Buffalo (2004) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Road to Kandahar (2005) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Diamond Frontier (2006) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Last Stand at Majuba Hill (2007) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Guns of El Kebir (2007) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Siege of Khartoum (2009) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Shangani Patrol (2010) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The War of the Dragon Lady (2012) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Fire Across the Veldt (2013) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Bayonets Along the Border (2014) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Pirates - Starboard Side! (2014) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Treachery In Tibet (2015) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Dust Clouds of War (2015) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Simon Fonthill is the main character in a series of historical fiction novels written by United Kingdom bestselling author John Wilcox. The author began the publication of Simon Fonthill in 2004 when the first book in the series The Horns of the Buffalo was published. The second novel The Diamond Frontier was released in 2005.

The Horns of the Buffalo

In the first novel The Horns of the Buffalo, we meet Lieutenant Simon, one of the redcoats of the British Army dispatched to S.Africa in 1879. He has got much to prove since Colonel Covington who has branded him a coward.

Upon arriving in Cape Town, the tension is high. The Zulus are a threat to the colonial government vision of a united nation of South Africa. To his surprise, Simon finds out that he has been chosen for one dangerous mission: to travel deep down into the Zululand and discover the intention of the king. His encounter with the king does not end well as he faced with violent and prison. However, his greatest challenge is escaping from the Battle of Isandlwana where the Zulu warriors have massacred many of the British forces. He must, therefore, warn a small garrison located at Rorke’s Drift of the imminent danger of the approaching Zulu warriors. This time he has a chance to prove to Covington, but he may pay the ultimate price.

The first novel is the series is a good read and even better than Sharpe, a British series of historical fiction. The Horns of the Buffalo is a military based book centered around the British army in South Africa and Zululand in particular. In most cases, you will find not Simon Fonthill participating in battles, but you will often find him where the action is, so the author John Wilcox has created a military trained, skilled adventurer who will give us thrilling and most exciting adventures in the latter period.

One interesting aspect of this novel is the constant questioning of the lead character, Simon Fonthill. The author does not introduce him as a brave, skilled or witty character; he first appears as an annoying and coward, and this is the reason as to why he at first cannot prove himself to the other characters and even to himself. Wilcox gives Simon Fonthill a room for growth and through the series you will see him develop into a great military character.

You will also encounter a secondary character by the name Alice. This is a unique experience, in that most of the historical fiction novels tend to base around men without the inclusion of female characters. So having an Alice in this book is a brilliant addition. She is featured as a strong, intelligent, brave, and headstrong.

Then there is 352 Jenkins, who later becomes Simon’s assistant/servant/friend/skilled person/bodyguard. He is a cool guy, a master fighter but also a drunk.

Dunn and Covington are also two other featured characters that are worthy of mention. They are both done well and come alive, but you will soon hate Covington and respect Dunn and also see them as real people both giving you an insight into the attitudes of the time, and also the sort of people you would meet as well.

Overall, Wilcox is a skilled author, and he has written a well woven, tangled story that entertains pretty well. The entire narrative flows well, and the dialogue between characters is brilliantly done. The Horn of the Buffalo is a golden gem, a great novel that marks the beginning of a series that you will love most.

The Road to Kandahar

In the second book of Simon Fonthill series, the year is 1879, and we meet Captain Simon Fonthill ready for another challenge of his life after surviving the Zulu massacre at Rorke’s Drift in the first novel of the series. This time Simon is sent to the India border with Afghanistan where he is tasked with a dangerous mission. He must infiltrate the war thirsty Pathan tribes and send back critical intelligence back to the British camp. He soon unravels a plot to massacre the regiment, however, when his covert state is blown, Simon Fonthill prepares himself for the acutely distressing consequences.

In the second novel of Simon Fonthill series, The Road to Kandahar, the adventurer and army trained man; Simon has already resigned his commission and also bought Jenkins out. However, they are blackmailed by intelligence agent to travel to another hotbed of death in Afghanistan where the British are popular as they were amongst the Zulu tribes in South Africa.

John Wilcox does a fascinating job of recreating the picture of the times, politically and militarily and his recreation of Afghanistan is one of lawlessness, with most of the country ready to fight against the British invasion.

Fonthill, his sidekick 352 Jenkins and alongside their Sikh guide who likes to be referred to as W.G Grace find themselves right in the center of the action, working effortlessly to collect intelligence for the British, and are arrested in the process. This is not the first time that Simon takes one for the team, as the Zulus also captured him and tortured in the first novel. However, even after putting his life in the frontline to gather intelligence that the British commanders require for their campaigns, Simon is disbelieved by most of his superiors who regard him as insolent and unorthodox, and because of this, he is not to be trusted.

As much as the battle scenes are featured in the series, it is the personal conflicts that make Simon Fonthill stories interesting. Like in the previous novel, Lieutenant Colonel Covington makes a return, as well as the intrepid female reporter Alice Griffith, and she is still bent on becoming a prominent journalist and does not care which officers she offends in the army.

Overall, the first two novels in Simon Fonthill series, The Horns of the Buffalo & The Road to Kandahar are groundbreaking, enjoyable and easy to read and will certainly give you and insight and open your eyes to the knowledge about the minor conflicts the British were involved during the last two decades of the 1880s.

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