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A Ship of War: Charles Hayden Book 3 (Charles Hayden 3) Paperback – 25 Apr 2013


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Product details

  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin (25 April 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0241952069
  • ISBN-13: 978-0241952061
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 3 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (75 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 142,347 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

Sean Thomas Russell is a lifelong sailor whose passion for the sea - and his love of nautical history - inspired the adventures of Charles Hayden. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

About the Author

Sean Thomas Russell is a lifelong sailor whose passion for the sea - and his love of nautical history - inspired the adventures of Charles Hayden. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Nick Brett TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 10 April 2012
Format: Hardcover
The third book to feature Captain Charles Hayden, blessed/cursed with Anglo/French heritage so treated with suspicion by one side and considered a traitor by the other. Here Hayden is tasked with obtaining critical information from a spy and then having to avoid French ships before being captured, shipwrecked and then joining a fleet for a sea battle with the French. The author knows his stuff and it feels very authentic, if at times there is a little too much detail on the complexities of sails and rigging. The language, and sometimes the writing style, is not `modern' and takes some getting used to before you are swept into the story.

While we involve ourselves with Hayden's story, we also see estranged lady-friend Henrietta with her family and coping with an apparent betrayal by Hayden looks elsewhere for romance. I presume this element of the story was put there to give a more rounded view of the characters and what drives them, but the politics and intricacies of relationships and romance seemed at odds with what is basically a novel of high sea adventure.

It is probably the Henrietta storyline that, for me, pulls this back to three stars from four. But it is otherwise a well written and well researched novel.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Marshall Lord TOP 500 REVIEWER on 16 July 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is the third part of a sailing navy series featuring Charles Hayden. The first two were excellent: parts of this book were up to the same standard but others were not and I found it rather a curate's egg. The series to date consists of:

1) Under Enemy Colours
2) A Battle Won
3) This book, "A Ship of War" and NB this book has also been published in the US as "Take, Burn or Destroy."
4) "Until the Sea Shall Give Up Her Dead (Charles Hayden 4)."

In the wake of the huge fleet of "fighting sail" novels, which brought to life such fictional sailors as Horatio Hornblower, Jack Aubrey, Richard Delancey, Nicholas Ramage, Richard Bolitho, Nathaniel Drinkwater, Thomas Kydd, William Rennie, and Kit Killigrew - not to mention the real historical officer Michael Fitton, whose remarkable career was novelised by Showell Styles - yet another hero of the age of fighting sail took to the quarterdeck in Sean Thomas Russell's first book, "Under Enemy Colours."

In the sequel "A Battle Won" and at the start of this book, Mr Russell put his half-English, half-French hero Charles Hayden, who has now been promoted to the rank of Commander, back in charge of the frigate H.M.S. Themis.
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By M. Hatch on 28 Dec. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
So I read many of the other reviews before getting this on the kindle I received as a Christmas gift and now, having finished it, I am wondering what exactly so many people had issues with.

I could not put this one down. The Henrietta cutaways did not detract from the story for me in any way whatsoever. They added to it. The tension builds as Hayden was often left in some peril and if you are an active reader like I am, you are left with your heart in your mouth and the pulse speeds up as you realise you are not going to find out what happened just yet. While you read the Henrietta parts you get sucked into the complicated situation wondering how a returned Hayden will fit in to the life of the Carthew's and this distracts you slightly before launching you headfirst, back into danger.

It's a bugbear of mine that so many people moan about additional aspects being included in stories. It's like they never understand the idea that a good novel sticks within its main genre, a great novel pushes the boundaries, crosses those borders for a foray, and then comes back again. Sean Thomas Russell was trying something new to the Hayden series here (but not new to fiction in general) and I applaud him for it, as well as encourage much more experimentation, this was a pleasure to read and at 1am it told me there's only a few dozen, or so, pages left, so I stayed and I finished it.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Agree with other reviewers, the segment devoted to Hayden's romance is laboured and detracts from the novel (I like to think that this isn't simply because I'm an emotionally illiterate bloke who likes to read naval fiction, but that Mr Russell is trying to inject a bit of Jane Austen to improve the literary credibility of his chosen genre. I'm all for Hayden's character being developed and extended through whatever relationships, shipboard or landbased, that Mr Russell cares to throw at him, but I felt that there was just a bit too much of a disconnect here) I suspect that like other readers I'm still searching for a writer who can fill the void left by Patrick O Brien, STR feels like the closest yet, although he clearly does not have the weather gauge on POB. I'll still give the next volume a go though..
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