- 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 (81 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 83,003 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
A Battle Won: Charles Hayden Book 2 Paperback – 17 Mar 2011
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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.
From the Back Cover
'Fire as she bears. Rake her, lads.'
Winter, 1793. Newly promoted Master and Commander Charles Hayden's orders are to deliver the frigate HMS Themis to Lord Admiral Hood, whose fleet is sheltering in the Mediterranean. Only hours out of port, however, and the Themis is engaging with the French navy.
Hayden's destination is Toulon, a French port under Lord Hood's protection. But there Hayden's captaincy and seamanship are stretched to their limits. For Toulon holds a deadly surprise for the unwary . . .
A Battle Won is the brilliant second instalment in the epic maritime adventures of Charles Hayden. A masterpiece in the tradition of Bernard Cornwell and Patrick O'Brian.
Look out for top-ten best-seller
[Thumbnail Under Enemy Colours]
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Top Customer Reviews
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!Read more ›
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.
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.
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.
Fans of `Under Enemy Colours' will certainly enjoy this next instalment, as the story recommences just after the conclusion of the now infamous court martial. Hayden continues his adventures with old friends but new characters enter the story at various moments providing added entertainment. Dr Worthing has to be one of my favourite characters so far and I sincerely hope we have not seen the end of the `righteous reverend'.
The first book was excellent, the second extremely good, however, I found the lengthy golf scene to be quite bizarre and the raising of the guns was just a tad tedious. However, those are the only minor grumbles I have in what was otherwise a very good read.
If you love naval historical fiction during the Napoleonic Wars, then this series is highly recommended.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Truly a journey into the late eighteenth century navy, an adventure with trusted friends. We are carried thus, in real-time.Published 6 months ago by Jeffrey Thomas
Good read. Thanks. Couldn't put it down. Hope everyone else enjoys it as much. That's enough for now. Very believable.Published 6 months ago by Jon G
Sean Thomas Russell,continues to delight with another most enjoyable recounting of the period and the men involved . Read morePublished 8 months ago by Hugh C
A feeling of deja vu to anybody who has read Hornblower, Bolitho and AubreyPublished 8 months ago by Dr George D Campbell
O'brian is still king but this is another look
and another character for the genre