Royal Flash by George MacDonald Fraser is the second in a series of books following Flashman, the bully from Tom Brown’s Schooldays (which I never read). Naturally, I haven’t read the first in the series.
Well, this is a pretty entertaining romp that doesn’t take itself seriously at any point. Actual history is tweaked to give Flashman a role in world changing events. The characterisation of Flashman is excellent and it’s told in first person from his viewpoint. Characterisation of supporting characters is quite shallow, but this rather suits Flashman’s character so it works.
It’s competently written, dialogue is good, pacing is great, and the story is just fun. It was written in the 1970s and the language does reflect that, but that was the only thing that niggled.