The Clifton Chronicles, Volume Five: Mightier than the Sword is the latest release by Jeffrey Archer. The series was originally planned to have five books, but due to the spectacular response to the initial books, it was soon announced to be a seven book series. And every year since 2011, without fail, the first quarter sees the publishing of the next in The Clifton Chronicles. Keeping the fans waiting for another year full of curiosity and anxiety about the future of The Cliftons and The Barringtons, finally this year’s dose of Harry, Emma, Sebastian and Giles made way to the stands.
The book starts where Be Careful What You Wish For ended. Answering the yearlong questions of the reader, Archer takes the story forward from the IRA bombing of the MV Buckingham liner. To the delight of Harry Clifton lovers, the couple manages to be saved because of Harry’s presence of mind. How many survive the attack? What happens to the explosive? Beginning with a bang, the plot moves ahead for an interesting tale of the Barrington Liner and its first voyage.
Twists and turns follow with each character facing their share of problems and happiness. Jeffrey Archer brings Harry Clifton back into limelight. Politically motivated, running campaigns to help a fellow author, at a point in the book you feel Sins of Father being repeated, when Harry almost manages entry into a prison because of his helping nature. On the other hand, his wife, Emma is made to deal with the effects of the bombing. Already involved in a court case by Lady Virginia Fenwick, she is put through a lot of difficult and stressful decisions as the Chairman. Her arch enemy Lady Fenwick goes to any heights to bring Emma down at any cost. Sebastian Clifton climbs the success ladder rapidly, achieving things no one can imagine at his age, but at a cost. Political inclination is all Archer pens for Giles Barrington, with a tinge of romance. His plot is kind of repeated from the initial books. The story wraps up with courtroom dramas happening simultaneously, the villains plotting as a team and the Cliftons and Barringtons remain a supportive family. Jeffrey remains loyal to his Clifton Chronicles ending leaves it full of suspense. There is a cliff, there is the person waiting to jump into the blue waters beneath but… Period, a cliff-hanger ending yet again.
The tale is fairly predictable and has nothing new many would argue. But this is the beauty of the greatest fiction teller. Relatable day to day characters and a family drama that can happen to you as well, but the art of writing unusual; his play of words, use of sarcastic one-liners keep you compelled to the book. Once again Jeffrey Archer takes a bow from his fans out there for another masterpiece in the series. The twists, thrills and chills are enough to make you read the entire plot in a go. Throwing ample humour to add lightness to the intense family saga full of political, legal, financial and emotional turmoil, Archer succeeds to knit a fantastic sequel. New characters enter the story as some old ones are sent to heaven. Important lessons of reputation and keeping your word are taught. London and Russia come alive with intricate details of the places and imagination finds its wings with his perfect use of descriptive vocabulary.
Easily, Jeffrey has kept the readers counting their 365 days to the next release, curious to know more about the Clifton and Barrington generations. Another year full of tears! As to why Archer did you leave the story here! Because now Only Time Will Tell how Sins of the Father that were Best Kept Secret force to Be Careful What You Wish For as Pens turn Mightier than the Sword. Waiting for Volume 6- Clifton Chronicles.