Verses in the Sand
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Verses in the Sand by Darren Beaming

02/26/2024
A gripping tale of action, romance, friendship, and British & Irish history set against the backdrop of the Napoleonic Wars and the Regency Era. In the year 1799, British army captain William Mason and fiery Irish convict Sean find their fates entwined. The sole survivors of a shipwreck, they find themselves stranded on a deserted island. William, the youngest son of a respected British noble, was commissioned an officer in the King's 33rd Regiment to serve under his cousin Colonel Arthur Wellesley. Due to ill-health, he had been left behind when the 33rd was sent to India and was finally on his way to rejoin his regiment. Sean, a fiercely proud Irishman, had bravely stood shoulder to shoulder with his brother in the ill-fated 1798 Rising. Captured at the Battle of Vinegar Hill, he was bound for the penal colonies of Australia. Despite their mutual distrust toward each other, both men realise they must cooperate to survive their harsh new reality and over time, animosity gives way to a fragile camaraderie. To pass the time, William tutors the previously illiterate Sean in reading, arithmetic, and even French, and he discovers an astonishingly brilliant and poetic soul within the young rebel. Each evening, Sean composes exquisite poetry in the sand, reflecting on their lives. The verses vanish with the tide but leave an impression on both men. However, the island transforms into a battlefield when Lady Elizabeth, a young English aristocrat, washes ashore. She is a captive to the enigmatic yet ruthless pirate captain, Mercier, and his crew. Through flashbacks, we witness an epic sea battle between a formidable British ship of the line and a swift French frigate — a precursor to their present predicament. Tensions soar as William and Sean grapple with clashing loyalties and the challenge of a daring rescue attempt. At its core, Verses in the Sand is a clean and wholesome romance combined with action and military history with a compelling character study that brings Sean and William to life in all their complexity. This is the first book in the United Irishmen series - the second book in the series will serve as a prequel to this story and follow both William and Sean's experiences in the 1790s culminating with the 1798 Rising. It is a tale of war, adventure, and tragedy.