All comments are as posted by the reader.
Adventure, history, romance, politics, this book has it all and the characters are extremely engaging. Beautifully written, kept me up in the early hours as I was unable to put it down. Hope there are many more novels to come from this author.
What a triumph! Rhiannon Lewis skilfully threads together the story of one of her ancestors with action taking place in the 1891 revolution in Chile. Page-turning action and a story rooted in history make this an assured and very enjoyable read.
This was a wonderful read. It blends the reality of life at sea for the intrepid mariners who regularly made the dangerous passage around “the Horn” with the complex and tragic politics of the Chilean Civil War, and a powerful personal story. Captain Davies’ ship is commandeered, and plays a major role in the civil war. If you have any interest in seafaring history, and Welsh mariners in particular, then this is a “must read”. But It also stands on its own as a beautifully written book, on the one hand with an exciting story, on the other unpicking a mix of personal tragedies and triumphs that hint at some universal sadnesses and truths.
This a a wonderful book from start to finish, the understanding and feeling the author has for the gent concerned is marvelous, the reader is taken through a life from young farm boy to a seaman who commands respect from all around him in a world that most of us will find very informative, historically correct in all aspects it will be an education to a lot of readers and I am sure a book all should enjoy and talk about, The author is deserving of all praise for this most enjoyable read
This is a book I could not put down ! The characters are compelling and the history authentic, revealing new aspects of the history of European settlement in South America together with riveting descriptions especially of naval encounters through the eyes of the Welsh hero..
An amazing book mostly set in a relatively unknown period of history: the Chilean revolution in the 1890’s telling the story of the author’s great-great-uncle, David (Davy) Davies from his childhood in Cardigan to his life as a sea captain during the revolution in Chile. It may appear to be a long book but it is an excellent read and is hard to put it down once you start reading it.
I loved the book! It is so entertaining, poetic and touching, characters are so alive, all while educating about the Chilean civil war, which I knew nothing about. The descriptions of landscapes are breathtaking at times, I could just see the layers of lilac mountains and the snowed peaks of the Andes towering behind; the description of the first arrival in Valparaiso puts you right there so you experience the beauty ... Chapeau Rhiannon Lewis!
A very enjoyable read. Set against the background of the Chilean civil war, the blend of history and fiction results in a rich story and one that is beautifully told. Simply excellent.
A wonderfully written book, with a beautiful story, superbly told by Rhiannon.Once I started I found it impossible to put down, as I felt I was there with Davy, experiencing the highs and lows of his experiences, whilst subtly being taught about the Chilean civil war at the end of the 19th Century.A truly fascinating story and I cannot recommend it highly enough.
This is a fascinating story which is beautifully told. I quickly became immersed in time and place and indeed at the end of the novel I felt that I been on the journey with Davy and visited Valparaiso and far away places myself I think it has all the ingredients for a fantastic film - adventure, love, history and beautiful landscapes - something for everyone!
Quite simply My Beautiful Imperial is a wonderful story and a brilliant read. I loved this book a lot. It offers a real life story woven through fact and fiction portraying all that life is, offers and can be; adventure,nature, people, health, happiness, sadness, love, family, politics, history, choices, personal relationships, human strength and fragility. This book educates on a little known period of Chilean history, maritime affairs and international business dealings, as well as reminding us of Welsh seafaring history and how important the sea was, offering an employment route for many in West Wales growing up along the West Wales coast. I liked that whilst the main focus of the novel is war in Chile, taking place along the Chilean coast and seaports, we are kept close to Aberteifi and Cardigan Bay because of the pivotal role played by a Cardigan boy working his way through the ranks to become a sea Captain and following his life choices. Simply wonderful.
A beautifully descriptive novel that is a complete joy to read !! The blend of Welsh and Chilean history is a truly fascinating and intriguing subject, written in a brilliantly fluid and well-paced style with interesting and complex characters. I can highly recommend this novel and can’t wait for the next one !!
Fact and fiction is finely woven in this novel such that Davy Davies the protagonist is a well rounded character who deals with loss, love and friendship like a realistic hero would. The Chilean war brings out the best out of Davy as captain of the ship, Imperial. This book is a must read for anyone who likes action in a historical fiction. The prose is taut and beautiful.
Incredible debut novel. Great story, well paced, lovingly researched, and the personal connection really comes through. When there is a second print run I would like to see the addition of a map. Looking forward to the sequel!
A gripping story, with an emotional intensity right from the start. The reader is drawn in to a world of humble beginnings, politics and war, love and loss. I couldn’t put this down. Looking forward to the next one!
Rhiannon’s beautiful writing style belies the fact that this is her first novel, fluid and absorbing she leads the reader gently through the history of her great uncle with such sympathy for his and the other characters that I was quickly and easily drawn into their lives. I learned about a time and place in history of which I knew nothing and enjoyed the book enormously.
You can tell what for you is a good book when you find yourself still reading it in bed at one in the morning, and when images garnered from it linger in your mind for days. This is one of those. Its prose is compact and succinct but still adequately rich, clear and readable. Its pace is constant and consistent and the plot unfolds logically over time, always maintaining the reader’s anticipation. The characters are distinct and believable and the physical contexts are well described and easy to visualise. And good as it is from the outset, all of these aspects of this book get better as it progresses. I enjoyed it, and I defy you not to. Bring on the sequel. And the movie!
What a wonderful book. Rhiannon Lewis has beautifully brought together the strands of part of the history of this war together with an amazing part of the carefully researched life of one of her sea-faring ancestors and woven this into a terrific story that is a real page-turner. Her writing style is as beautiful as the title - a really good read. Will there be a sequel? I hope so!
Couldn’t put this book down! Excellent gripping start. Fascinating Chilean history which I knew nothing about. Well worth a read.
A lovely read. Many interesting strands which were all brought together at the end. Enjoyed the Welsh and Chilean aspects; I learnt about a period of history I knew nothing about. The author has a flowing style and the story is told in a way which makes you eager to return to the book. I’d like to read more by this author.
This book is a great read. It tells the story of a boy, Davy, growing up in a farming community in West Wales, following his life as a sailor which leads to his involvement in a revolution in Chile. Davy is the hero of the book, but through his life he encounters adventure, love, death and everything in between. It’s a fascinating and amazing story, beautifully written by Rhiannon Lewis. Once I started, I couldn’t put this book down and didn’t want it to end. I can’t recommend it highly enough.
A scintillating account straddling two disparate cultures in the nineteenth century - poverty stricken west Wales and an anti-government revolution in Chile. This unique account appears to be based on family documents and brings a unique realism to a facinating story. An putdownable account well worth reading.
An excellent story, told superbly by Rhiannon. The depth betrays the extensive research behind the story of Davy (a relative of the author) but, more importantly, the writing grips the reader from the beginning. The icing on the cake was recognising home, even down to individual buildings. Superb.
A great read. A fascinating historical context (the Chilean civil war, end of the 19th century), and a good story-line, made all the more interesting because it is based on the story of the author’s own ancestor, who left his native Wales to become a sea captain and ended up embroiled in Chile’s turbulent politics of the time.
Beautifully crafted story of love and loss set against the fascinating and little known events of the Chilean Civil War.Blends historical accuracy with a pacy narrativeImpossible to put down once started. Recommended.
Masterful. Years of research into a mysterious family heirloom has made Rhiannon Lewis an expert on the little known history of the Chilean civil war of the late nineteenth century. Yet her writing skill is such that her book is a page-turning, character-rich thriller of a novel. Thoroughly recommended, whether or not you think you’re interested in the subject.
A thoroughly engaging read. It is one of those books you don’t want to put down once you start. I look forward to more books from this author in the future.
‘Oh! Rhiannon, your book has nearly caused a divorce next door!! Dad is so enjoying it he won’t put it down & can’t do anything else! With his failing eyesight he is a very slow reader. He loves the fact that he knows all the places in Wales. Thank you so much for writing it & sharing your beautiful story with us all xxx’
Wedi un y bore, a gwaith erbyn hanner wedi saith. Diawl Rhiannon, we’n i ffeili rhoi e lawr.Stori wych. Diolch.[Translation for those of you not lucky enough to speak Welsh: ‘Gone one in the morning, work starts at seven thirty. Dammit Rhiannon, I couldn’t put down. Fantastic story. Thank you.]
This is a tour de force of a novel based on the adventures of the author’s relative. He escaped the poverty of his west Wales homeland to sea and ended up closely involved in the late nineteenth century revolution in Chile. The story is set against a sensitive backdrop of the social norms of the era and with some wonderfully evocative accounts of natural life. It is highly recommended and so has to be a must read for 2018.