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Summary

It is January of 1879. While three columns of British soldiers and their African allies cross the Uminyathi River to commence the invasion of the Zulu Kingdom, a handful of redcoats from B Company, 2/24th Regiment are left to guard the centre column's supply depot at Rorke's Drift.

On the morning of 22 January, the main camp at Isandlwana, just 10 miles to the east, comes under attack from the entire Zulu army and is utterly destroyed. Four thousand warriors from King Cetshwayo's elite Undi Corps remained in reserve and were denied any chance to take part in the fighting. Led by Prince Dabulamanzi, they disobey the king's orders and cross into British Natal, seeking their share in triumph and spoils. They soon converge on Rorke's Drift; an easy prize, with its paltry force of 150 redcoats to be readily swept aside.

Upon hearing of the disaster at Isandlwana, and with retreat impossible, the tiny British garrison readies to receive the coming onslaught. Leading them is Lieutenant John Chard, a newly-arrived engineer officer with no actual combat experience. Aiding him is B Company's previously undistinguished officer commanding, Lieutenant Gonville Bromhead, along with 24-year old Colour Sergeant Frank Bourne, and a retired soldier-turned civilian volunteer named James Dalton.

Unbeknownst to either the British or the Zulus, half of the center column, under Lord Chelmsford's direct command, was not even at Isandlwana, but 15 miles further east, at Mangeni Falls. However, with a huge Zulu force of over 20,000 warriors between them and the drift, their ammunition and ration stores taken or destroyed, and an impossible distance to cover, Chelmsford's battered column cannot possibly come to the depot's aid, and must look to their own survival. The defenders of Rorke's Drift stand alone.

©2017 James Mace (P)2017 James Mace

What listeners say about Crucible of Honour: The Battle of Rorke's Drift

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Good story

Excellent account of the battle but overall it was spoiled to an extent by poor narration.

2 people found this helpful

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Great Book

Great story of the famous battle at Rourkes Drift. The only downside is the strange narrator. His accents are very good for the various characters but he has a strange way of saying words when he uses his own voice. very distracting.

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Great Historic Story

Visceral, slightly let down by mispronunciations of military jargon! However, worth a listen, even if we know the outcome!

1 person found this helpful

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True Valour

Although book 1 of this series (Brutal Valour: The Tragedy of Isandlwana), tells the story of the brave stand made during that battle, it is also a story of incompetance and poor leadership.

Not so at Rorkes Drift where leadership and bravery were of the highest order, and although 11 Victoria Crosses were awarded, the highest number for any single action, it would appear that even more were deserved.

This book was well written and researched by James Mace, and well read by Jonathon Waters , although I still have some criticism of his pronunciation of British ranks/names.

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awesome read

A really well written story based on an actual event.
He puts you right there shoulder to shoulder with the lads on the battlefield. can't wait for the nxt one

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I felt I was there

I enjoyed every minute of the story,i thought it was well narrated and captivating

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  • Terrance
  • 17-07-18

ANGLO-ZULU War History Story Line is OUTSTANDING!

I’ve enjoyed this 2nd Book “Crucible of Honor” on The Battle of Rorke’s Drift as much if not more then the 1st Book “Brutal Valor” The Tragedy 0f Isandlwana. I couldn’t put the Book down.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Ian S. McDonald
  • 27-05-20

Excellent Book

I have read several books on Rorke’s Drift and watched the movie Zulu. This book encapsulates not only the battle but also the aftermath of Islandwana on both sides Zulu and British. I have all the books in this series and based on listening to the first two highly recommend them for their historical narrative. You really get to know the men involved in this war

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  • Rayc
  • 08-08-21

superb

Crucible of Honour. The Battle of Rorke's Drift
A superb blend of historical event and fictional dialogue.
It is a truly captivating listen. with excellent narration.
I cannot recommend this audio book highly enough I am looking forward to the next in the series.
I received a free copy of this audio book at my own request and voluntarily left this honest review.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-10-20

James Mace, master story teller

brilliant! really enjoyed listening to every minute of the story. well researched and well narrated.

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  • cora
  • 01-09-20

Excellence in writing

This series of books is one of the best I’ve ever read. It tells of courage, courage between two people who fight. I love this book is well written exciting courageous. I recommend this book to anyone who loves books.