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Superb Historical Fiction,
This review is from: The Young Hornblower Omnibus: "Mr.Midshipman Hornblower", "Lieutenant Hornblower", "Hornblower and the "Hotspur"" (Kindle Edition)The Hornblower books of CS Forester set the standard by which all historical fiction has to be judged. The plots are genuinely gripping and exciting, the historical (and nautical) detail is spot on, the prose is elegant and easy to read and while some of the minor characters are no more well drawn than they need to be to move the story on, Hornblower is exceptionally well drawn (and deeply interesting.
I first read the books over 40 years ago and still return to them from time to time.
One word of warning. Don't start reading Hornblower with these books but rather start with "Flying Colours, then The Ship of Line and the The Happy Return (available from Amazon.com at least in one volume). Although these books deal with the start of Hornblower's career they were written later and are more enjoyable as a retrospective explanation of why Hornblower became the man he did, which is what the author intended. This is especially true of Lieutenant Hornblower - the only one of the books not to be written from Hornblower's perspective. Moreover the very first book Mr Midshipman Hornblower, is a series of linked short stories not a complete novel.