on 28 October 2007
The Admiral's Daughter by Julian Stockwin is another cracking good yarn from this masterful author of the sea, filled with twists, turns, and surprises. Stockwin manages to balance Kydd's time at sea and ashore nicely, given the home waters setting. And his description of life for Kydd in early nineteenth century England is fascinating, as is his attempt to blend into polite society.
The more I read about Thomas Kydd, the more I relate to him. These novels bring back all the feelings and doubts that I experienced as a young sailor trying to follow my own path in life: how to behave in company, and how to alter my speech to suit the society that you are with at that moment. As to Kydd's experiences with the opposite sex, he behaves like a true sailor: all thumbs and insecurities, out of his element, and way over his head. Stockwin really hits nerves here.
As expected, I thrived in reading the sea-going passages, which Stockwin brings alive, drawing the reader into the scene in a manner that allows you to feel as though you are there. I often had to stop reading and look about to realize that I was not at sea.
Coastal Britain, as described in The Admiral's Daughter, is a fascinating subject, with its complex coves, tides, currents, and variety of geography, from cliff faces to salt marshes. All are dangerous and have claimed many a vessel over the centuries. Stockwin's descriptions bear out the fact that such intimate detail can only be achieved by personal experience, from a true seaman's eye and perspective. They are the signature of his work.
Well done, sir!
on 15 January 2008
If you would have asked me to name my favorite series before I read "The Admiral's Daughter", I would not have hesitated to say "Kydd". With this books total lack of sea action, or any action at all, a script taken from a road map of the southwestern corner of England, and a further degradation of Renzi (especially) and Kydd, I am not looking forward to the next book in this series. The author has really gotten away from the action, and Kydd's innate ability to emerge victorious from challenging situations, both personal and professional, which made these books so readable. The very poorly contrived plot and reasoning, combined with the unnecessarily brutal, pointless, and insultingly contrived ending, left me using the book as a frisbee off of the balcony.
My fear is that this very fine author has evolved into an expert on the minutia of the sea lore of the period and does not really realize how terribly boaring it is for many readers to read a sea adventure novel with absolutely no real sea action.
Knowing this author is capable of far better than this, I will, or course, buy his next issue, but am thankful I will have a full year or more to get over the incredible disappointment of "The Admiral's Daughter".
on 29 March 2014
This is another great Julian Stockwin novel. You really get the best out of if you start on book one and follow the series. I am on book 11 and they get better as they go along. I am dreading when I get to the last one..
on 14 November 2014
Another well reserched and written book about a not to well known aspect of the RN's involvement with the defeat of Napoleon's attempted invasons of the British Isles and the must maligned use of smugglers in this role.
Book 8 in a long running series that usually gets better and better, but not this time, for the first time we have a weaker book, a book that i cant quite get into, maybe because i dont feel that the characters i have come to know would have got into this situation, This book lost its way with i feel a need to address the personal side of Kydds life, but not tie him down and hinder the series too much... i enjoyed it but i didnt feel it.
All of this coupled with Julians obvious passion for the sea and all things nautical, this is 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 dont spoil it and come in part way.
on 2 December 2013
I started at the beginning of the series and I am going through them in order. I do like the descriptions relating to sea and ships. Some of the plots are a little bit suspect but are balanced out by some really good ones and I do find them compulsive reading and will continue to work through them.
on 15 November 2007
Another excellent outing with Commander T Kydd.
Julian has done it again, this time revealing the intricate nature of human emotions whilst balancing the friendship of Renzi and Cecilia's presence.
The Admirals Daughter does go to sea, but not to the boudaries of earlier tomes, however we are confronted about the man and his emotions and, his principles.
The story is very human and as per previous books, can be decribeed as Chapter 8 in Kydd's life.Like so many thousands of Julian's fans, Chapter 9 cannot arrive soon enough.
Julian, as always has researched fully to bring this book to the fore, it is another interesting read, and, during the cold Winter nights, which, are certainly to arrive, The Admirals Daughter should be bought out and read again, this I am sure will add flavour, not only to the story but also the locations mentioned herein.
on 4 October 2007
Continuing the chronicle of the rise of Thomas Paine Kydd, the perruquier from Guildford, Kydd renews his command of HMS Teazer and joins the Plymouth command, his mission to hunt down smugglers. With the ready advice of his sister and his friend Nicholas Renzi, he continues to advance socially.
This book is typical of Julian Stockwin's style, with adventures galore and some setbacks, and can only enhance his reputation as an author and teller of exciting stories of the ships and men of the Napoleonic wars.
on 19 April 2008
The _Admiral's Daughter_ is the latest installment in Julian Stockwin's 'Kydd' series. It's not your typical nautical fiction book; not a lot of battles and so on. However, it's an important book in the development of Tom Kydd. Why is this so?
Kydd falls for the admiral's daughter. With her being of a higher social class, she is really out of reach. After all, what could the scion of high society find in a perruquier-turned-seaman? Stockwin makes all this possible by having Kydd troll for smugglers and privateers off the Cornish coast; so he's never far from his love. The action episodes are few but generally good. In spite of the fact that there is really not a lot of acton, I liked this book. For the first time, Kydd (or any naval hero, for that matter) comes across as a real person. The reader can relate to him at a personal level. Hasn't everyone's heart skipped a beat for an unobtainable cutie? We suffer along with him. Well, Kydd doesn't give up and the lady finally returns his affections. However, even worse for Kydd, he falls in love with another girl and jilts the admiral's daughter and his men and friends finally turn against him as it becomes obvious that he is preocuppied to the point of endangering his men. His world has collapsed. Even though it's a love story, I think we'll see a much more mature and polished Kydd in the future. Kydd is certainly not your navel hero, he's a real person.
There are a few criticisms, though. Stockwin is an extremely intelligent man and his writing shows it. He simply knows a lot of stuff. It's a joy to read his stuff. Why could one criticise that? Well, in the arena of language, Stockwin writes as the characters would speak, complete with slang, jargon, and dialect. The modern reader, especially American, will quickly get lost in all this. For example, what's a 'cove'? Well, it's a 'guy, chap, fellow.' If you don't have a British slang dictionary at hand, it could be rough going in some spots.
The character of Renzi can be irritating sometimes. One wonders what he is doing on the ship in the first place. He talks weird, just weird. Everything is so formal. He's almost C3PO! However, he provides an important guide, confidant, and advisor to Kydd. The reader is not relegated to Kydd's mental musings, as Kyddhas someone with whom he can talk. This adds a totally new dimension to the story. We get two perspectives instead of one. However, I would much like to see Renzi change considerably and even leave the story sometime. Always showing up on ship unexpectedly is becoming a bit incredible. I hope Kydd will someday outgrow his need for Renzi.
Finally, Stockwin has an irritating habit of not finishing episodes. The reader knows what happens (most of the time), but I want to know HOW things are resolved. So, sometimes, I feel like I'm just left hanging.
In spite of these criticisms, this is a good book, but it must be read after the others; it can't stand on its own.
on 22 March 2008
I have all the Kydd's on my bookshelves and don't regret the purchase of
any of them! I've noticed some citicism of the latest,to which,of course,the writers are entitled,but surely we can't expect "blood and guts" on every page of every book. Someone asked me two or three years ago whether, in my humble opinion,it was a good thing to have a feminine touch in a series of "historical sea stories",and I immediately said"yes".
Let us think back over the years to Nelson and his Emma-----all fact,and
fictionally to Hornblower,Reeman,and many others who have given so many of
us so much pleasure over the years.Days and weeks of boredom at sea,surely
entitled the men,both "fore" and"aft"to a little shoreside relaxation.
Bring the "Daughter"back in again come October,Mr.Stockwin!!