The second of three great Royal Flying Corps novels by Derek Robinson, Hornet's Sting expresses all his trademark qualities: savage humour, vivid air combat, and the heart-breaking dilemma of the young. It also introduces Captain Wooley, later the anti-hero of Goshawk Squadron, a character rich in bleak comedy. And so he needs to be, for this is 1917, the air war is bloody, and a squadron might suffer 100 per cent losses in a month. As Paul Scott - no mean novelist himself - wrote: 'Robinson has a narrative gift that sets up the hackles of involvement. A rare quality.'

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