Commander Thomas Kydd is eager to play his part in thwarting Bonaparte's plans for the invasion of England. Joining Admiral Nelson's command, Kydd and his ship soon find themselves at the heart of the action that leads up to the famous clash of the mighty British and French fleets at Trafalgar.
Kydd's journey takes him from false sightings of the enemy and dramatic chases across the Atlantic, to the bloody annihilation of the enemy during the actual battle, and the heroic aftermath.
©2010 Julian Stockwin (P)2014 Audible, Inc.
A man with a child in his ears - @shutterspin.
I had to wonder about this one when I realised that the author intended to tackle the Battle of Trafalgar. It's such a well-known part of British history that integrating fictional characters with well documented reality was always going to be a challenge. In the end I think that he got it right. I liked the fact that the mood of the nation and the importance of events to the populace both pre and post battle were covered well and formed an important part of the book.
In the end I simply wanted more of that final cataclysmic battle but I was very happy that in no way did the author have his characters try to eclipse the real heroes of the day but instead through Kydd, Renzi and a midshipman on board the flagship we got a ringside seat to one of England's finest military achievements from multiple points of view.
Christian Rodska's excellent narration carries the story well including the obviously hugely detailed knowledge the author has for naval history and terminology. I must admit I had to look a few terms up so some could find that distracting and others will also want to kick "Mr Renzi" up the derriere over his attempts to woo Kydd's sister Cecilia.
Those last two things are minor points though, this series remain well on course with "Victory".
"Odd Man Out"
It appears to me, the author wanted to tell the story of Trafalgar, without the hero. Since the narrative breaks from the hero, to an on board midshipman, we have a good account of Nelson's death. But unlike the other naval series of this time, the hero has little to do with the battle, which leaves kind of a hole in the plot for me. Nevertheless, there is still sufficient merit to enjoy the book, and Rodska continues his great narration.
"Trafalgar by proxy"
Yes, if they had read the rest of the series and liked this sort of thing.
Well, I wasn't sitting so there's no 'edge of seat' going on. It moves along nicely enough, although there are some parts of the story that are 'given'. Perhaps we could have heard less of the internal agonies of Renzi. He's starting to develop Hornblower-like neuroses. I suppose the author wanted to make him more than a plot device and he went for sensitive and anxiety-riven. You want to slap his face sometimes.
Yes, he's always reliable and enjoyable. Pleasant and versatile voice.
Not possible, as it's fairly long.
I think I smoke it, as Jack Aubrey would say - why we have yet another naval saga where the hero doesn't fight his ship at Trafalgar. It's writing logistics, cully. If you want a long series, you have to start your hero young and junior. He has to be brave and able, or he's not worth writing about, By the time the war reaches its crisis, he must have had lots of gratifying promotions. He should get his 'step' to post captain before Trafalgar, as opportunities must have been thinner thereafter. He's not captain of one of the famous ships at the battle, because we know them, so he's in a frigate at the time and necessarily on the sidelines. This time, we have one of his protégés on Victory, as a proxy. It works pretty well, though perhaps the structural bones are more visible than usual.
It's clear the author knows his sailoring stuff and is willing to impart, in some detail. In that sense, it's more directly pitched at a nautical-hungry readership than the more ambitious O'Brians, where the sailoring is a tasty side-dish. I like that stuff though.
"Nice blend of fiction and fact"
The author masterfully combined the facts of the battle with the fictional characters. Well done
Midshipman Bowdens first hand narrative aboard Victory was very interesting.
I enjoyed the fitting out of L'Aurore, It was facinating.
Many. Chief among them the Falco series. He is as always, superb.
No Just content on a good read.
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