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A Ship of War: Charles Hayden Book 3 (Charles Hayden 3) [Paperback]

Sean Thomas Russell
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (65 customer reviews)
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Book Description

25 April 2013 Charles Hayden 3

A Ship of War is a stunning new maritime adventure from Top Ten bestselling author Sean Thomas Russell, following the great success of A Battle Won and Under Enemy Colours. For fans of Bernard Cornwell and Patrick O'Brian, A Ship of War is the third instalment in the electrifying historical series of Charles Hayden and the Themis.

'Hayden kept his eye fixed upon the chasing ship...The screech of an iron ball passed narrowly by. There was no room now for error'

1794. As the terror rages in France, Captain Charles Hayden leaves Plymouth with orders to gather intelligence from a spy off the Le Havre coast. But the enemy lies in wait. In the foulest of weather, Hayden's seamanship is tested to the limit and a terrifying cat and mouse chase begins.

Faced with a powerful French squadron Hayden knows he must elude capture at any cost. In his possession are details of an imminent attack on British soil which must be delivered before all is lost.Ahead lie shipwrecks, storms, battles and dramatic escapes - and at the centre of it all, the courage and heroism of a lone captain . . .

A Ship of War is the brilliant third tale in the epic maritime adventures of Charles Hayden. A masterpiece already rivalling the stories of Bernard Cornwell and Patrick O'Brian.

Praise for Sean Thomas Russell:

'An unqualified seal of approval. This is gloriously readable stuff.' The Bookseller

'Russell's encyclopaedic command of nautical lore, joined to his rare ability to spin a ripping yarn, combine to place the reader right in the middle of the action, of which there is plenty.' Neal Stephenson (author)

'Well-written, plenty of adventure . . . places the reader in the midst of the action of battle.' Marine Society

Sean Thomas Russell is a lifelong sailor whose passion for the sea - and his love of nautical history - inspired the adventures of Charles Hayden. A Ship of War follows bestsellers A Battle Won and Under Enemy Colours. Sean lives on Vancouver Island.

Frequently Bought Together

A Ship of War: Charles Hayden Book 3 (Charles Hayden 3) + A Battle Won: Charles Hayden Book 2 + Under Enemy Colours: Charles Hayden Book 1
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Product details

  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin (25 April 2013)
  • Language: Unknown
  • ISBN-10: 0241952069
  • ISBN-13: 978-0241952061
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 12.8 x 3.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (65 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 27,199 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


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

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Adventures with a bit of romance 10 April 2012
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
4.0 out of 5 stars Charles Hayden III: the Glorious First of June 16 July 2012
By Marshall Lord TOP 500 REVIEWER
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."

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. Frigates were usually commanded by an officer of the rank of captain (Post captain in the nautical language of the time) but it was not unknown for a commander to be given a temporary appointment as commanding officer of a frigate in circumstances such as were described in the books.

At the start of this volume the hero is given two missions which may well prove incompatible, but this is only the start of his problems.
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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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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Tedious, boring and disappointing 28 Oct 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I enjoyed the two previous novels in this series,but struggled to stick with this one. I found the storyline weak, and every occurrence drawn out in the extreme, as if to just fill the assigned number of pages. I hope the author doesn't feel obliged to churn out another book just for the sake of it, and puts more thought into the next one.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Buyers beware this book is identical, except for the title, publisher and cover to 'Take Burn and Destroy'
It is the same tale.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Romantic Dross 28 Jun 2013
By Oldcolt
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Hard to believe this was written by the author of the first
two books which were eminently better than this tedious
and weary effort. Padded out with page after page of vapouring
and fainting, this should be marketed as cheesy romantic
What a let down. If this the direction that the author is heading
with future Hayden novels then I won't be buying any more of his
work. This really is misrepresentation by both the writer and the
publisher. If I could give it a minus star I would.
Steer well clear of this overwritten tawdry piece of prose.
C S Forrester and Patrick O'Brien cover this period of history
so much better.
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12 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the harsh reality of nature on the high seas 26 Mar 2012
Sean Thomas Russell : A Ship of War


I have to admit I looked forward to this read, having read Under Enemy Colours and A Battle Won I already knew that Sean Thomas Russell could write, what I was more surprised about (again) was the differing nature of the stories with the story, this truly was a multi layered book. Normally you will have plots and sub plots in a book, and you will have threads that pull together at points in the book like fine stitching, and this book in most respects was the same, and yet different. On the one hand you have the blistering action, the harsh reality of nature on the high seas and the comradeship of those on board ship, and yet on the other you have Henrietta and her family, the family and social dynamic of the period, and the love, betrayal and formality of her relationship with Hayden, at times they feel like different worlds and different stories.

Without giving any plot away I have to say that the scenes written around the ship wreck are among the most harrowing I have read, giving the reader a real sense of the danger, the fear, the heroics, the cold and the power of nature, truly a great section of the book.

I had thought that Julian Stockwin was the Master of this part of the Historical fiction genre, but I'm revisiting that opinion after this book, it seems he has some serious competition.

I very much recommend this book, it not all balls out action, it has heart, soul and passion as well as action, danger and heroics.


Who is the Author
Sean Russell was born 1952 in Toronto. At the age of three his family moved to the outskirts of the city, where they lived in a cottage at the beach of Lake Ontario.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
could not put the book down
Published 12 days ago by michael blackford
5.0 out of 5 stars Book
This is the 2nd book of 4 I have read the 1st am now on the 2nd. If you want a good read you should get them all
Published 13 days ago by Stanley Parry
4.0 out of 5 stars book
Very good book recommend.
Published 25 days ago by gerald hone
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Another thrilling instalment of the Charles Hayden story.
Published 1 month ago by P. J. Laing
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping tale of what life would have been like for mariners.
Excellent sequel. Follows in the tradition. Most enjoyable.
Published 2 months ago by Seagate
4.0 out of 5 stars Stockwin meets Austin! Othwise a great installment. Can't wait to read...
Having read the 2 previous books in the Charles Hayden I was eager to more on to book 3. Again I found this book as the previous nearly as riveting and a real screen tapper (in... Read more
Published 2 months ago by minesapint
5.0 out of 5 stars A Ship Of War
As usual with this Author, a thrilling story well told. I look forward to his next book. It's a must buy.
Published 3 months ago by David Manifold
5.0 out of 5 stars Captain Charles Hayden - Excellent story
Again another good read from Sean Russell Thomas! The story follows on very well from books 1 and 2. Looking forward to the next story in kindle format.
Published 4 months ago by Rhi83
5.0 out of 5 stars A great buy.
I am very pleased with the book by a good author and I will continue to look for future publications by Sean Thomas Russell in the Charles Hayden series.
Published 5 months ago by inkyprint
3.0 out of 5 stars Spirited reading
This is the third outing for Lt Charles Hayden and my least favourite so far.

He is such a promising character, a bright, talented and ambitious naval officer who has no... Read more
Published 6 months ago by catsatcastle
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