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4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
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VINE VOICEon 22 February 2005
The pairing of down-to-earth Kydd with the intellectual Renzi continues to lift this series above the run-of-the-mill (although Kydd has lost most of his gaucheness by now).
Promotion within the ranks has come to both, as a result of the Caribbean experience in 'Seaflower', and they are part of the Mediterranean Fleet - although in different ships.
While Renzi is 'enjoying' the battle at Cape St.Vincent, Kydd is stuck in Gibraltar 'suffering' the attentions of the Town Major's wife. His new confidante Cockburn tries to warn him off - to no avail, so Renzi drags him off to Venice, where they are trapped by Boney's invading forces. They escape, thanks to an 'ex' of Renzi's, but a tough decision by Renzi seems to signal an end to the friendship as they return to Blighty - and the Nore mutiny. Kydd is in the forefront, but miraculously earns a pardon (thanks to Renzi), then finds himself in the thick of the bloody battle at Camperdown.
Altogether a seeming mish-mash of events ... but after all, this is exactly what a seaman's life would be like: no plan; no greater purpose; no battle tactics; no 'story'; just go where the Admiralty sends the ship and do what the captain commands ... This is what the author is trying to convey in this series - the story is in life's little details.
And very good detail it is; the author's personal research into the locations produces a highly-believable account of little-known events in the most volatile period in British naval history. There follows a taster of the next book 'Quarterdeck', and, as we have come to expect in this genre, his sources of the facts behind the fiction.
This is the most in-depth depiction of the infamous mutiny that I've read, as - for the last time - through Kydd's eyes we see more of the behind-the-scenes machinations than if he were an Aubrey or Hornblower. *****
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 28 July 2011
The fourth book in a long running series that just seems to get better and better the characters keep growning and flowing with their ever expanding plot lines and movement into the ever larger arena of their times, as they and their careers / fortunes grow so do the scale and power of the troubles they encounter gone is the innocence to the plot a new origionality pervades the whole story and leaves the reader with a shanty lilt to their speech and a roll to their gait. Book 4 is somewhat darker than those that have gone before and shows a new side to julians work, and for me a more accurate book, something that you can believe, the too good to be true effect has gone, the good guy does not always win... sometimes life sucks!

Having read the rest of the series and read the rest of the reviews i can tell others that Julian did learn and progress the characters even further, and when that was coupled with his obvious passion for the sea and all things nautical, you end up with a series that does rank up there with Forrester and O'Brian, every year i look forward to my new instalment of Kydd...but to get there you have to start at the beginning.

Well recommended

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on 19 January 2014
I enjoyed the book and will definitely read others in the series. A criticism perhaps would be that the story dwelt a little too long on the mutiny it's self or, possibly not long enough to do the subject justice. Mel.warrender
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on 17 September 2012
Being a fan of historical novels, by the likes of Conn Iggleden, John Stack, Anthony Riches, Robyn Young, Christian Cameron etc, I had read good reviews of Julian Stockwin's novels. Thought I'd start at the beginning with the Thomas Kydd series & how glad I am, that I did. What a wonderful series. Up to No 5 & can't wait to read the rest. Anyone with an interest in seafaring escapades of the late 18th centuary will love this series.
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on 3 June 2016
It's so good to hear Kydd's tale interlaced with true history. I had a vague recollection of the 1797 mutinies from schooldays history lessons but I now find I want to read and know more. These books are quite different to Patrick O'Brien's but not at all inferior and I recommend them unreservedly.
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VINE VOICEon 1 October 2009
I have read every one of Mr Stockwin's books but I fear my time to following this series is comming to an end.

Kydd is just too super a superman for the tales to be read comfortably. Anyone who has followed the great writers of Napolionic fiction can't but help feeling a little bit sick of the way the hero always comes out on top by the most unbelievable turn of circumstance. I have to own up to the fact that I set the standard for this type of book with C S Foresters Hornblower series and Stockwin falls well short.

This book like others in the series is packed with too much technical jargon that is totally allien to most people and is almost never clarified.

A poor effort
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on 15 December 2010
I was going to purchase this item for my Kindle. However, it seems Amazon is trying to take advantage of the naivety of us Kindle owners and placing a massive premium on ownership by jacking up the Kindle price in comparison to the paperback price. I will forego the Kindle "service" until Amazon get their priorities right.

I will right the same review on every book I find to be so outrageously priced via this monopoly.
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on 20 June 2014
This series gets better with every reading. It is historically enthralling, correct and exciting. The characters are believable and entertaining and the twists in the tale WELL managed.
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on 27 March 2013
This story is rubbish. There is hardly any action and the characters are so flimsy that they are laughable. The plot hardly exists and it's just not worth the money.
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on 4 February 2013
My husband wanted the series so I purchased all of them on amazon. Condition was as described and delivered on time. This is a really great series he loves it.
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