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A Battle Won: Charles Hayden Book 2 Paperback – 17 Mar 2011

4.6 out of 5 stars 68 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 576 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin (17 Mar. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141033150
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141033150
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 3.4 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (68 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 69,370 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


An unqualified seal of approval for Under Enemy Colours. This is gloriously readable stuff. --The Bookseller on Under Enemy Colours --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. His latest book follows bestsellers A Battle Won, Under Enemy Colours and A Ship of War. Until the Sea Shall Give Her Up Dead is his latest novel. Sean lives on Vancouver Island.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As the reviewer 'Roadrunner' points out there is an awful lot of Napoleonic era naval stuff around, new and old. Many writers have tilted their lances at Hornblower and Aubrey and come out looking very poor by comparrison! and I'm not sure the bold statement 'At last an heir to O Brian' printed on the back cover is one that is helpful to a fairly new author trying to establish his own identity.

But I do feel this novel and it's forerunner 'Under enemy colours' just stands above most of the modern writers of naval saga's. It is written for the modern MacDonalds eating readership of today. The action comes fast and often and the writing concentrates on conflict rather than the 'journey' however Russell still finds time to examine the relationships, rivalries, friendships and out and out hatred between crew members and rival ships. This gives the story a nice ebb and flow even though it rattles along like cutter under full sail!

Russell is gifted writer, and as other reviewers have mentioned, the book is at times impossible to put down and very tempting to pick up. So I found myself sneeking upstairs for 'just another page or two'. He also does character writing very well too. I now feel I know the key members of the Themis's crew and so get very emotionally drawn in to the story, which is not always the case with modern historical adventures.

Russell I think is clearly influenced by O' Brian, and Hayden's friendship with the ships surgeon is starting to look more and more like Aubrey and Maturin. Also the much mentioned 'Romeo and Juliet' and Golf scenes where an attempt at the whimsey of O'Brian. If you remember the first meeting of Lucky Jack and the good Doctor was at a music recital where Aubrey enthusiastic 'jioning in' drove Maturin mad!
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By Jeff VINE VOICE on 26 Mar. 2010
Format: Hardcover
This is a good book, an enjoyable read and I doubt too many people will be disappointed with it. However....there are a number of things wrong with it in my opinion and many of them similar to his first novel; things I'd hoped would have been ironed out. Hayden is a likeable character but he's altogether too nice. He seems incapable of losing his cool; not only that but he performs the most amazing wonders. I won't say what they are obviously but they seemed to me a bit much. The relationships between Hayden and some of his men seems strange to me. Wickham, a young midshipman comes across as almost a friend of his and at one point, if I remember correctly, suggests to Hayden that Hood [i.e.not Admiral Hood] had got some tactic or other wrong. Unfortunately, I can't help thinking what Aubrey would have done! And before I'm criticised for the comparison with you-know-who, what does the back of the jacket have? 'At last, a worthy heir to Patrick O'Brian'. I would beg to differ but then that's publishers for you. There are other things - the map at the beginning belongs at about p300. Don't look at it before then! The first part when certain things happen on the way to Gibraltar I found incredibly confusing. Most of it happens at night and I totally lost track of who did what to who. Then there's a game of - wait for it - golf. OK, may be historically accurate and Russell admits he put it in for light relief but I found it out of place and unneccessary [as was the overlong bit about 'Romeo and Juliet' at the beginning].
Neither am I totally sure about the ending. Obviously has a lead into the next book but even then.... Right, I'll stop criticising. Fact is, for much of the book I really did enjoy it. I do think Russell is a welcome addition to novelists of the Nelson era and I think he will improve but he needs to address certain aspects.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
After reading his first book 'Under Enemy Colours I began to think we might have another great author of tales of seafaring in the making. There were some causes for concern. The apparent easy camaraderie between the Captain and his junior officers and crew, even lowly landsmen for example was frankly unbelievable! That kind of relationship did not exist in my naval service of the sixties and seventies! His appreciation of Georgian spoken english is sketchy considering how much dialogue is used. These niggles aside I found the book a strangely compelling read and looked forward to receiving A Battle Won.
Oh dear, it is often said that warfare is 90% crashing boredom and 10% frantic action. That can certainly be said of this title. The inconsistencies of the previous tome are still there and now we have the 'Mills and Boon' factor as mentioned by other reviewers. the long winded description of a golf tournement played in a Gibraltarian meadow is dull, monotonous and long winded. Mr Russell seems obsessed with stormy seas and night combat and the continuous personal misfortunes that plague Lieutenant Hayden are getting a bit tedious and we are only on book two!! Like book one I felt compelled to read on in the hope that something interesting might happen. It didn't. A masterpiece in the tradition of Patrick O'Brian? I think not. Mr Russell has a lot of work to do to equal the swashbucklig adventures of Hornblower, Ramage, Aubrey, Bolitho and Kydd. Having read some of the reviews of book three, I don't feel inclined to bother.
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