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4.8 out of 5 stars34
4.8 out of 5 stars
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on 24 October 2001
Once again, I really enjoyed this Alexander Kent book about the Bolitho family. I have read the whole series (23 books to date) and I can truly say, these are the most exiting sea adventures ever written. It follows a very compelling story of the ups and downs of the harsh life which was endured during this time period.
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The perfect companion for all history enthusiasts is THE ROMA VICTRIX WINE BEAKERCalix Imperium, Roma Victrix Pewter wine beaker

In this installment in Alexander Kent's excellent series about Richard Bolitho, the action takes place in 1798. Napoleon is concentrating his forces in the Mediterranean. He is preparing to annex Egypt. And now the newly promoted Commodore Richard Bolitho is sent to the Mediterranean with a small squadron of ships: three seventy-fours, a thirty-two gun frigate, and a sloop of war. Since the majority of the British fleet is tied up on blockade duty in the Atlantic, his squadron is the sole projection of British naval might on this side of Gibraltar. His responsibility is massive and his powers fairly wide.

In Signal Close Action, Bolitho must weather illness, conflict with his old friend Herrick, betrayal and a ferocious battle with a French squadron in the Corfu Channel before he can lay his ship alongside the enemy in the climactic Battle of the Nile.

Signal Close Action is among my favorites in the Bolitho series. As usual, Alexander Kent displays great familiarity with the historical context as well as with naval life and naval battle. The story telling is wonderful as well. There is a lot of attention to detail, superb phrasing, and good character descriptions and development. The naval action in this book is second to none. Signal Close Action is historical fiction at its best. Overall this series is one of the best naval fiction series from the period known as the Age of Sail.
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on 27 March 2008
So far, this is my favourite book in the Richard Bolitho series. In it, his friendship with Thomas Herrisk is tested to the limit, but not found wanting. It also sees Bolitho taught a lesson in not always accepted others at face value. Exploring all of the frustrations and hardships of the navy at war and those brave souls that kept our ships alive and fighting. An excellent adventure which, I hope, others will enjoy as much as I did. Happy reading!
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on 24 November 2013
KK, well here's another Bolitho story I have just finished in my attempt to read the whole series. In this one Bolitho, recently promoted to Commodore is put in charge of a small squadron of ships ordered to patrol the Mediterranean, watching what the Spanish and French navies are up to. You'd think that after having written so many book sin this series that they would get a bit samey and dull, but this is not the case with the Bolitho stories; they just keep getting better and better. I find it vary interesting to read how Bolitho works in each of the ranks he is progressing through from young midshipman to his current rank of Commodore. Now he also has to deal with a Flag Captain that is not coming up to scratch and a replacement who is too keen to do things his own way. Thrilling and a delight to read. I am looking forward to reading the next instalment in the series.
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on 12 February 2013
This novel is stronger than the previous one in the series. It presents Bolitho as a Commodore, in command of a squadron for the first time. The challenge for Bolitho is to balance his responsibilities with his innate desire to command a ship.

The action takes place in The Mediteranean. All the usual ingredients are here, with Kent writing on top form and retaining the readers interest throughout. There is little of the repetition that can spoil some of his other novels. Overall, you will follow the action and twists carefully and enjoy them all
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on 13 February 2014
As always kent makes the story rip along at a great pace, but with characters given enough time t ok be fleshed out so that by the end you feel each victory or death. Bolitho now being in command of an entire squadron of ships brings the series to a new chapter in the fortunes of the sea officer, with challenges not faced before as a captain but also a growing maturity to the character. A great start to bolitho the flag officer instead of the young captain we are used to.
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on 2 December 2011
Yet again, another cracking yarn that holds within its fiction a wealth of historical truths as to what life was like in the late 18th early 19th century, both at sea and throughout England at a time of great peril to our great nation. Such books should in my view, be standard reading for all teenagers to give them a feel of how our more modern history was formed.
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on 4 January 2013
I am currently reading the entire series. Its fantastic! I could not recommend it more. I recommend it to anyone who liked Sharp, Hornblower master and commander . . . . .this series is the daddy!
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on 4 August 2015
Would have been four stars for a good read, but some Kindle proofreading errors (again). Not as bad as some in the series, but enough to be annoying and break the suspension of disbelief.
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on 10 September 2014
Thoroughly enjoyed this excellent book. Another fantastic book in the whole Alexander Kent series. Second time I've read through the books in order and enjoyed as much as the first time.
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