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Betrayal (Thomas Kydd) [Paperback]

Julian Stockwin
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
RRP: 7.99
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Book Description

4 July 2013 Thomas Kydd

Cape Colony is proving a tiresome assignment for Captain Kydd's daring commander-in-chief Commodore Popham. Rumours that South America's Spanish colonies are in a ferment of popular unrest and of a treasure hoard of silver spur him to assemble a makeshift invasion fleet and launch a bold attack on the capital of the Viceroyalty of the River Plate, Buenos Aires.

Navigating the treacherous bars and mud flats of the river, the British invasion force lands and wins a battle against improbable odds, taking the capital and the silver. But nothing is as simple as it seems in this region of the world: the uprising that will see the end of Spanish rule never arrives and the locals begin to see dark conspiracies behind the invader's actions. Soon the tiny British force finds itself surrounded by an ever more hostile population. The city begins to revolt against its liberators.

Now Kydd's men must face fierce resistance and the betrayal of their closest allies. Can they save themselves, and their prize?

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Betrayal (Thomas Kydd) + Conquest (Thomas Kydd) + Victory: Thomas Kydd 11
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Product details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder Paperbacks (4 July 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1444712020
  • ISBN-13: 978-1444712025
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 13.5 x 19.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 81,656 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Julian Stockwin was sent at the age of fourteen to Indefatigable, a tough sea-training school. He joined the Royal Navy at fifteen before transferring to the Royal Australian Navy, where he served for eight years in the Far East, Antarctic waters and the South Seas. In Vietnam he saw active service in a carrier task force.

After leaving the Navy (rated Petty Officer), Julian practised as an educational psychologist. He lived for some time in Hong Kong, where he was commissioned into the Royal Naval Reserve. He was awarded the MBE and retired with the rank of Lieutenant Commander. He now lives in Devon with his wife Kathy. More information can be found on his website at

Product Description


Praise for BETRAYAL:

'Stockwin, who based this tale on a factual debacle easily overlooked by history, is a master of Napoleonic-era atmosphere and rich descriptions of the military, politics, and society. With the last two books, Stockwin's series is approaching the level of C.S. Forester's Hornblower books.'

(Publishers Weekly)

'Stockwin assembles an exciting and suspenseful historical loaded with action, intrigue, treachery, and the bloody gore of 1805 warfare' (Publishers Weekly on CONQUEST)

More historically accurate than the Patrick O'Brian series (Royal Navy Sailing Association journal on the KYDD series)

Another thundering good read for those who love seagoing stories in the Hornblower mould (Peterborough Evening Telegraph on TREACHERY)

This heady adventure blends fact and fiction in rich, authoritative detail. (Nautical Magazine on VICTORY)

Paints a vivid picture (Daily Express on KYDD)

Stockwin's descriptions of the bloody reality of naval combat 200 years ago are memorably vivid (Yorkshire Evening Post on VICTORY)

I was turning the pages almost indecently fast (Independent on KYDD)

A born storyteller and a man with a vivid imagination . . . his research is accurate and first class. (Flagship on TREACHERY)

Book Description

Who will steal the greatest prize of empire?

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Truly creates the feel of the time 11 Oct 2012
I'll admit from the beginning that, despite this being the 13th Kydd novel, it is only the second that I've read, though I now realise that they are actually quite readable as standalone novels if the reader wishes.

I've recently been heavily devoted to reading ancient through medieval fiction, but I opened 'Betrayal' with enthusiasm. It has been a long time since I read Napoleonic era novels, but I was, to some extent, weaned on Forrester, Dudley Pope, and Alexander Kent. Having now read two of the Kydd novels I have confirmed for myself that Stockwin's protagonist is easily the match for Bolitho, Hornblower or Ramage.

I won't go too much into the specific plot of the book, as usual, to avoid spoilers, but the action begins in Africa, around Cape Town and with a magnificent opening chapter that evokes all the mystery and dangers of darkest Africa, the dangers of the French enemy, and the ingenuity and sheer daring of Kydd and his men. It also nicely introduces (or reintroduces) the main characters for those of us who have had time out from the series. Looking at a long period of excruciating boredom (and more importantly reduced chance of glory or advancement) patrolling the secure cape, Kydd's commander, Popham, sets off on an unauthorized, outrageous and downright dangerous plan to try and subvert Spanish control of South America. Kydd, somewhat reluctantly agrees to join and is dragged into a little known action in history of which I had never even previously heard (thanks, Mr Stockwin, as I learned something new and particulary fascinating here.)

The action picks up very quickly and then sails along (pun intended) throughout the book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Return to form 10 Oct 2012
The year is 1806 and Captain Kydd was just helped capture and defend the Dutch colony of Cape Town (chronicled in Conquest). With the French driven from the seas, the only thing Kydd can look forward to is protecting trade and being forgotten by the Admiralty on a far flung corner of Empire.

Kydd's commanding officer, Admiral Popham has other ideas though. With the forces used to capture Cape Town at his disposal, he proposes an assault on the undefended Spanish possessions in South America. Winning over Kydd to his side, Popham believes that all the English have to do is land on the mainland, capture Buenos Aires and the locals will rise up and throw off the yoke of Spanish rule but can a few hundred British soldiers and sailors really capture the greatest prize of Empire?

As the fleet sets sail, Kydd struggles with the decision to abandon his station and follow a man whose motives seems to become more suspect and actions become more underhand the closer they get to their destination.
As the British task force lands on the Spanish Mainland they must deal with the local Spanish troops as well as belligerent locals but the prize is so great that nothing will stop them in their quest.

With no British warships able to navigate the River Plate, Kydd is tasked with with defending the British force with whatever crafts and men he can muster and as the enemy draw closer, Kydd finds himself increasingly under pressure to hold them back. Kydd knows that if they can't not hold on until reinforcements arrive then they could lose everything they have gained and from being Heroes of Empire they could end up facing a court martial for disobeying orders. Such are the fine margins of high command.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Betrayal - Julian Stockwin 11 Oct 2012
13 may be unlucky for some, but Julian Stockwin's latest novel in the Kydd series, Betrayal, excels in the faction genre and places him without doubt in the top league of writers whose stories are based, both on the sea and land, during the Napoleonic Wars.

He cleverly weaves Kydd into the real stories and action of the day and the auspicious attempt to take Buenos Aries. Stockwin's in-depth research on this relatively unknown action has allowed him to place Kydd and Renzi into the heart of the story and he cleverly linked Commodore Popham, with whom Kydd had dealings with in Invasion, the commander of the sea force, with Kydd and his beloved frigate HMS L'Auore.

The operation described in such gripping detail in the book is one of the great "What ifs" of the empire building Britain undertook in the early 1800's. If London had be more supportive, the logistics had been better thought through, the bayonets on the ground greater in number then the northern part of modern Argentina and the southern part of Uruguay could well have been coloured pink the Victorian Atlases.

Poor intelligence at the most critical stage allowed the Spanish to turn around what had be a major embarrassment into a complete victory and as Julian explains not just the once but twice!

The Commanders of the operation where Popham for the Navy and Beresford for the Army, both competent commanders in their own right. I will let Kydd's actions in the book tell the story, but Kydd as usual with the support of his colleagues, both officers and seamen, redeem themselves and uphold that old adage "Honour", their actions playing a decisive role in the overall operation.

A great true story, well researched and written, which brings our two great friends to the brink of a major bust up over differing beliefs. However, their deep friendship prevails and Kydd is snatched from the jaws of incarceration and despair. A great read and I would highly recommend it!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Betrayal
Just as always an eventful book with lots of action and adventure a really good read looking forward to your next book
Published 12 hours ago by Phil
5.0 out of 5 stars A really good naval series written with good taste and fine detail
I became hooked on this author from the very first hard back outing in this series and I still am collecting every one,despite the regrettable price increases on most hardbacks... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Christopher J. Eley
4.0 out of 5 stars Well up to Julian Stockwin's standard
Very well written action sequences but requires a suspension of belief that a junior captain would have been given such responsibility. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Robert G, Walker
3.0 out of 5 stars Betrayal.....A good title when judging its content and entertainment...
This book started well but seem to lose its direction and I did not enjoy it so much as Conquest.... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Treen Chronicles
3.0 out of 5 stars Disapointed
I always look forward to his books but was left a bit lost by this one. Still good but plot a bit weak. usual good characters
Published 9 months ago by Stuart Young
3.0 out of 5 stars betrayal - to readers.
these stories are starting to get a bit boring. renzie needs a good kick up the backside to get him going otherwise he will end up with somewon just as boring as he is.
Published 9 months ago by brian richardson
3.0 out of 5 stars Not my favourite in the series
I have read all of the Kydd novels, and perhaps for me this was the least enjoyable. Not that it is bad, but more I think the area covered of the British invasion of Buenes Aries,... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Great story. Can't wait for the next one.
Great story which brought to attention that you couldn't trust anyone in those days - everyone had their own agenda and supposed alliances were not worth the paper they were... Read more
Published 10 months ago by MIKEDUFF
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
I have read all the Kidd Series , and found Betrayal in keeping with the previous books, full of intrigue, suspense, and excitement. Read more
Published 11 months ago by s m beckford
5.0 out of 5 stars Betrayal (Thomas Kydd 13)
Purchased for my brother. He is addicted to naval adventure and has enjoyed all of Julian Stockwins Kydd books. He fully recommends this novel.
Published 11 months ago by Colin
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