The Beggars’ Victory

I have previously reviewed vol 1 and vol 2 of this series, often referring to them as the “Martin and Boudewyn books.” This book seems to complete the story (though a fourth volume is projected). This book opens with Martin, his father and Boudewyn on the sea with others of the Sea Beggars, the independent “navy” that fought for Dutch liberation from Spain. In the end, the main characters are able to return to their home which they had fled in volume 1.

This is a solid book that will introduce you and your children to some important history. However, it is hard to read/follow. With so many difficult Dutch names (of people and places), the introduction of so many different characters, and the apparent assumption of a working knowledge of Dutch geography reading can be slow and difficult. I often summarized or skipped place names. It was difficult to follow the train of thought in places because I did not know the relation between various cities or which names referred to regions and which referred to cities. The story itself was fine but not real compelling. It certainly would be difficult for any story that follows the reading of a particularly excellent story like the Crown & Covenant Series. The Crown & Covenant Series is better told and handles issues of self-defense, forgiveness, etc. in a better way. I think that volumes 2 and 3 of the Struggle for Freedom Series did not rise to the same level of volume 1.

In the end, my boys enjoyed this book, I think largely because they were already into the story. This is a fine book, but will require some work to read.

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