Mightier Than the Sword: A Novel (Clifton Chronicles Book 5)

Mightier Than the Sword: A Novel (Clifton Chronicles Book 5)

Posted by jack_miller | Published a year ago

With 6992 ratings

By: Jeffrey Archer

Purchased At: $1.60 (84 used & new offers)

Mightier than the Sword opens with an IRA bomb exploding during the MV Buckingham's maiden voyage across the Atlantic - but how many passengers lose their lives?

When Harry Clifton visits his publisher in New York, he learns that he has been elected as the new president of English PEN, and immediately launches a campaign for the release of a fellow author, Anatoly Babakov, who's imprisoned in Siberia. Babakov's crime? Writing a book called Uncle Joe, a devastating insight into what it was like to work for Stalin. So determined is Harry to see Babakov released and the book published, that he puts his own life in danger.

His wife Emma, chairman of Barrington Shipping, is facing the repercussions of the IRA attack on the Buckingham. Some board members feel she should resign, and Lady Virginia Fenwick will stop at nothing to cause Emma's downfall.

Sir Giles Barrington is now a minister of the Crown, and looks set for even higher office, until an official trip to Berlin does not end as a diplomatic success. Once again, Giles's political career is thrown off balance by none other than his old adversary, Major Alex Fisher, who once again stands against him at the election. But who wins this time?

In London, Harry and Emma's son, Sebastian, is quickly making a name for himself at Farthing's Bank in London, and has proposed to the beautiful young American, Samantha. But the despicable Adrian Sloane, a man interested only in his own advancement and the ruin of Sebastian, will stop at nothing to remove his rival.

Jeffrey Archer's compelling Clifton Chronicles continue in this, his most accomplished novel to date. With all the trademark twists and turns that have made him one of the world's most popular authors, the spellbinding story of the Clifton and the Barrington families continues.

We start this novel on the MV Buckingham's maiden voyage where the IRA has planted a bomb in Harry and Emma's suite in the form of a huge vase of lilies. Harry figures it out in time for the bomb to be carried to stern off boat where they successfully uploaded it into the sea where it exploded without any damage to boat. Emma calls an emergency board meeting of those board members on board and swears all to secrecy as to what had occurred. Meanwhile Harry when he gets to New York after leaving the boat to visit his publisher, learns he has been elected president of English PEN. He immediately launches a campaign for the release of fellow author who has been imprisoned in Siberia. Giles is now a minister of the Crown until a trip to Berlin. Sebastian has changed careers to banking and proposes to Samantha.His unrealistic view of what he needs financially causes a rift between the two and she leaves him without telling him her secret.

- leilani_lewis

This is a great read, fast-paced, however Jeffrey Archer needs to learn a few lessons from some of his contemporaries, most notably Ken Follett, Robert Ludlum and Nelson DeMille. They know how to end a "serial" novel while leaving the reader feeling complete after reading that phase of the saga whereas the reader knows there is more to come from their favorite characters/themes/series (e.g. Ken Follet's Kingsbridge Series, Robert Ludlum's Jason Bourne and Nelson DeMille's John Corey), and not not an unfinished work as is the case with "Mightier Than The Sword."

Jeffrey Archer's spins a tale with complex, well-developed characters facing various - and at times - dire challenges throughout the tale whose lives are intertwined through many circumstances/situations over time that are made clear as the novel progresses from beginning to end. However - at the end of the novel - WAY too many questions remain unclear for the reader concerning many of the intricate situations woven into this tale who is basically told to wait for the next work in this series which should be available some time this year (2016). The only time I was more disappointed with the 'leave the reader hanging' feeling is when James Leigh did not write a follow-up novel to his excellent work, "The Ludi Victor."

Again Jeffrey Archer, "Mightier Than The Sword" is a well-written, fast-paced novel. In the future.please learn from you contemporaries I previously mentioned (Follett, Ludlum, DeMille) and provide the reader with closure at the end of each book in this series. It's very well-written and the characters are believable and fit well into the then-historical context in this novel/series; we anticipate reading the future of the Barrington/Clifton/Fenwick saga!

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- kevin_smith

Jeffrey Archer has done it again! This episode of the Clifton Chronicles is another page-turner, with more political, legal and emotional drama than ever. The narrative draws you in with plenty of twists and turns, and as we skip from one major character to another some of the subplots play out quite surprisingly over several years of the book's timeline. Once again it ends with a tantalizing cliffhanger so I can't wait to read the next story in the series. I picked 'Suspenseful' as a word that best describes the mood, but I would add nostalgic as it's set in the 60s and 70s - though for readers younger than me that would be ancient history!

- karter_wood

Once again this next installment in the series does not disappoint. There are so many threads involved in this book, I couldn’t help but be kept interested throughout the story. Harry’s involvement with the Cold War is fascinating, Emma’s ongoing work to keep the Barrington Shipping a company prosperous kept me intrigued, and Sebastian’s work in the banking industry is interesting. I highly recommend this series for an enjoyable read.

- marina_gonzales

Don't get me wrong...I stumbled upon the Clifton Chronicles several weeks ago and have absolutely devoured the first five books and was REALLY disappointed earlier today when I realized I have to wait nine days for the final book to be released! Book five seemed at first that it might be too ambitious with several very complex story lines but ultimately it proved to be a seamless plot. Because of this, I don't see how this could possibly be a stand-alone novel; so much in this book is dependent upon the first four books. Furthermore, the relationship between the main characters doesn't just "age" but becomes in depth and in several cases, unexpected. Others have discussed the plot...no spoiler here. Read these books in order and you will be hooked!

- ariel_bennet

I am completely obsessed with what will come next in this series. It's not usually the type of book I would read, but so glad I found it. I love Jeffrey Archer now as well as hate him, as he always leaves me in the middle of a paragraph. I am so glad he's finished writing this series now, because if I had to wait till next year for the next book, I would have to hunt Mr Archer down and kill him, unless he could tell me what will happen next. Gotta go now and start book 6

- bradley_robinson

I am a huge fan of Jeffrey Archer and have read most if his books. For that reason the reader should be aware that my rating comes with a built in bias.i am completely hooked in the Clifton Chronicles. The twists and turns are always lurking with no promise that they will turn out as you want, but regardless of the latest event, you know there are more just a few pages further in. And at the end, you know that it'll be another year before the next intrigue with the Clufton Family begins again. Character (or lack of character) development is great, and by the end of each book, you end thinking you know each character personally -- or at least someone like them.

I find so many novels where the dialogue us stilted, stale and even silly. Many are acclaimed as great works well of fiction.. In my judgment Archer's ability to write as I believe people would actually talk is a rare gift. I highly recommend this book but only if you have read the prior chronicles as each book builds on the prior ones.

- rodrigo_gonzales

This is the fifth book in the Clifton series and it's an absolute cracker. You need to read in order to follow plot lines and character development, but without a doubt, Jeffrey Archer is a gifted storyteller.

This tale features a couple of the darker characters, Lady Virginia and Major Fisher, continuing their vendetta against the Barringtons, both personally and in business. There's some really skilled plotting which keeps the tension high and the pace is breathtaking. There's courtroom drama in the UK and Russia, election shenanigans and party politics, freedom fighting for a Soviet dissident who's challenged the official version of Stalin's rule and Giles' regret at losing the love of his life. These seemingly disparate threads are neatly drawn together making this an exciting and often surprising read. I enjoyed it and have already started on the next in the series.

- zackary_peterson

You'll probably really enjoy 'Mightier than the Sword' if you have read the previous four books in the series. This fifth volume continues the saga of the Clifton and Barrington families, as well as others who have crossed their paths in the past. The twists and turns in the lives of the various members of the two families continue, as too does the drama. With each volume we see new and different facets of their personalities as they deal with different challenges & adversities. Needless to say, the novel ends with the expected cliff-hanger to entice loyal readers to buy the next instalment.
If you haven't read any of the previous volumes then you may find parts of this story a little bewildering and, in respect to the plot, a little incredible. On a positive note, two family trees are provided at the start of the book which would help you understand how the two families are related. However, you should be aware that some members of the family featured in the tree, while still alive, do not feature in this novel (e.g. Maisie). In addition, you may question how realistic are parts of the story (e.g. Harry's photogenic memory & his knowledge of the written Russian language; the likelihood of Russian agents still watching the wife of a Russian dissident many years after she had moved to England, etc). However, in my opinion these elements are no different from many seen in other thrillers where the 'hero/heroine' has amazing skills of strength, powers of observation & deduction (etc) that we mere mortals can only aspire to!
As far as I am concerned, I am hooked and will start reading the next book in the series as soon as I have finished writing this review to find out what happens next in the lives of the Cliftons and the Barringtons.

- itzayana_long

Book one was superb. Finely interwoven storie about real people and the social divide.....steadily going downhill thereafter.. And now this one. No mention of Harry’s mother as though she has been airbrushed from his life?? And the massive story of book two - are Harry and Emma siblings??!! As for Sebastian’s daughter Jessica lookin like the ill-fated original Jessica? Hmmmm? She was actually sebastian’s Aunt in fact, fathered by his own grandfather to the poor woman who threw herself under a train!

As for the implausible to the point of ridiculous plots!!! Harry in a Russian jail — his photographic memory. What?? An entire book written in Russian ?!!! I tell you, if this were a first manuscript of an unknown author it would be laughed out of the publishers office.......As for purchasing the next one on the ludicrous cliff hanger worthy of a ten year old ....no thanks. Archer is rich enough.....just stunned at so many good reviews........there again, Jeffrey Archer readers, eh?

- kiera_rogers

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