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4.1 out of 5 stars
Sea Lord
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 4 May 2007
As with some of the other reviewers, I knew who did it very quickly into the story. I have to say that it didn't spoil the experience at all. The plot was by no means predictable, but the first half was a bit slow as the protagonist doesn't really take assertive action against the bad guys until the second half of the book.

Cornwell has a fondness for the West Country - or at least that's apparent form his writing - and it shows here. South Devon gets as much attention as the supporting characters and if you live in the area you'll like the little nuances in the book.

If the book fails you as a thriller, it still has a lot to offer.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 2 February 2010
I have read all of Cornwell's historical novels, it's taken me a long time to get round to reading a thriller by him and now that I have I wish I had done so easily. The lead character is very easy to relate to (surprising given that he's a Lord) and the plot moves along at a fair old rate.

One thing that put me off initially was that clearly this is a book was going to be about boats, now I'm certainly not a boating man and have found books written by other authors thaty involve time at sea hard going and I'll admit this is oft down to my ignorance about all things nautical. I needn't have worried, Cornwell explains everything very clearly yet without coming accross as patronising, in fact he made the whole sailing life seem appealing.

I'd certainly recommend this book, and I also feel the need to read his other thrillers
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48 of 52 people found the following review helpful
on 16 October 2002
I think I've read everything Cornwell has written except his sea adventures and this was the first. The book is best when he's at sea where the sailing descriptions are riveting. Rossendale, 28th Earl of Stowey, has to confront weather, treachery and human frailty. I cry when his characters cry and his hero's courage and ruthlessness are wonderfully satisfying. If this isn't his best, then I'm really looking forward to reading the others.
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39 of 43 people found the following review helpful
on 4 August 2006
'Sea Lord' is the last of the Sea based thrillers by Cornwell that I have got around to reading. They have ranged in style from Miami Vice-esque (Crackdown), crazy eco-warriors (Storm Child) and now a more sedate and traditional story of feuding families.

'Sea Lord' is the best of Bernard Cornwell's Sea books because it's the most like his other novels such as Sharpe. As a rule the characters he develops tend to be too chauvinistic and do not sit well in a modern day setting. However, in 'Sea Lord', he introduces us to an Earl who fled GB and his family after a Van Gogh painting was stolen. He has only returned to go to his mother's funeral and finds more than he bargains for when someone tries to murder him and he meets an enigmatic Italian Countess! As the chief suspect in the robbery will he be able to clear his name and save his own life?

This novel is very breezy and easy to read. The characters are likeable enough and the story just about holds its own. Problems lie in the fact that I knew who did it very quickly and that Cornwell always seems to write more suited to historic rather than contemporary settings.

This book was an average yet fun read. As an introduction to Cornwell's older; and less well known; sea books, a good start.
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First of all, I know absolutely nothing about sailing, so maybe Cornwell got it all completely wrong. But I understand that is not the case, and in any event, for the average (non-sailing) reader the sailing complements the plot rather than gets in the way. Bernard Cornwell is a great storyteller, and while this may not be his best known work, its fast and fun to read.

John Rossendale tells the story from a first person POV, and its well done, managing to keep reveals behind the curtain in a realistic fashion until the appropriate time. Besides the nautical aspect of the adventures around the English Channel, there is also family trouble, venal lawyers, stolen property and a pretty girl: the usual suspects, in other words. In short, Rossendale has come home after years of avoiding responsibility to see his dying mother (who promptly curses him and dies). That however leaves up in the air the old issue of a stolen painting, worth enough to set the family fortunes largely to rights. When Rossendale is beaten up and effectively robbed, he starts to get angry about it: and whoever beat him up seems to have the lost painting too.

Some of the plot is obvious, some is not, but its all gripping and enjoyable, even for a landlubber. It’s a standalone book so there is no worry about getting into a series at the wrong point, although I understand there are several other similarly themed nautical adventures by Cornwell which may be worth a read, should you enjoy this.
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28 of 34 people found the following review helpful
on 15 July 2000
This book is a well writen who-dunnit which is an enjoyable and refreshing read. It's the kind of book you could read in day or two because the story is very compelling. The way to read it is to sit in a comfy chair in a conservatory (preferably with a view of the open sea) with a big mug of tea and a pack of chocolate biscuits. I describe the book as insprational because it makes you want to buy a boat and sail around the world...
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This is 1 of a number of sea adventures that Cornwell has knocked off. They inevitably include a wonderful sailing boat, a beautiful girl and some nasty business about inheritance which leads to the boat blowing up. Having said that, Cornwell is a fluid writer and theey're good fun to read.

Sea Lord involves an impoverisher Lord who has abandoned his family to go to sea immediately after the family's only asset a Van Gogh was stolen. He is reluctantly dragged back into the fray when his mother dies. The girl in this book is an art expert whose step father is an enormously wealthy collector who wants the painting.

The book was o.k., I like Cornwell as a writer, but it was obvious how it would end by page 15.

Recommended for the very bored.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 6 June 2012
Sea Lord was as usual from Mr Cornwell extremely well written, although once or twice did, I found slip into Boys own world. On the whole a good read>
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on 2 April 2014
This is typical of Bernard Cornwell's work. A well written story told by a guy who understands deep water sailing and how a decent sailing cruiser works. If you enjoy sailing you'll enjoy this. The detective bit of the story is also entertaining and reasonably plausible. I thoroughly enjoyed it and recommend it to any Cornwell fan. If you read it as your first Cornwell book you will come back for more.
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on 6 February 2013
This starts as a great sailing adventure without leaving the Channel, it then turns into an even better one. Mr Cornwell had me engrossed in it and even towards the end I could not decide exactly who did it. Although my suspicions were correct on one point. Good read
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