The Courts of the Morning

courts of the morning buchan houghton mifflin 1929The Courts of the Morning by John Buchan, 3/5

This charming novel can, broadly speaking, be included in Buchan’s Richard Hannay series since its prologue is narrated by the eponymous character; however, it mainly features the familiar faces of Archie and Janet Roylance, Sandy Arbuthnot and John Blenkiron.  These few find themselves embroiled in a revolution against a megalomaniac mining tycoon who plans to overthrow democracy around the world from his seat of power in the fictional South American country of Olifa.  Despite enjoying the book greatly, my initial enthusiasm has worn down somewhat as I consider its many faults in retrospect.  Moments of suspense and adventure are countered by sections of very dry, geographical descriptions of war tactics.  Psychological and guerrilla warfare are portrayed with a stubbornly naive romanticism that must be taken lightly or it becomes ridiculous.  Add to this that the plot isn’t the strongest and you have a book that is fun to read but ultimately not very satisfying.

[Why I read it: I think I saw it advertised in the end pages of the last Buchan book I read.  My library didn’t have it, but managed to order in a beautiful first edition from a different library.]


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