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Summary

1811. The Adriatic, the 'French Lake', is now the most valuable territory Napoleon Bonaparte possesses. Captain Sir Thomas Kydd finds his glorious return to England cut short when the Admiralty summons him to lead a squadron of frigates into these waters to cause havoc and distress to the enemy.  

Kydd is dubbed 'The Sea Devil' by Bonaparte who personally appoints one of his favourites, Dubourdieu, along with a fleet that greatly outweighs the British, to rid him of this menace.

At the same time, Nicholas Renzi is sent to Austria on a secret mission to sound out the devious arch-statesman, Count Metternich. His meeting reveals a deadly plan by Bonaparte that threatens the whole balance of power in Europe. The only thing that can stop it is a decisive move at sea, and for this he must somehow cross the Alps to the Adriatic to contact Kydd directly. 

A climactic sea battle where the stakes could not be higher is inevitable. Kydd faces Dubourdieu with impossible odds stacked against him. Can he shatter Bonaparte's dreams of breaking out of Europe and marching to the gates of India and Asia?

©2020 Julian Stockwin (P)2020 Hodder & Stoughton Limited

Critic reviews

"Paints a vivid picture of life aboard the mighty ship-of-the-line." (Daily Express

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Thunderous!

From the thunder of guns to the howls of pain, the sea spray to the stormy sea and the intrigues of court to artistic leanings this book simply has it all with Stockwin's pen and Rodska's voice painting a vivid, almost cinematic story of Kydd's latest adventure. All the principle characters that we know and love get to have their moments in this book which is an absolute belter!

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a little fast paced

Great book. A little hurried story in places. Christian R proved he is the best narrator once again.

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Another Stockwith masterpiece

narration first class, story excellent, just hope for another followup,hope you are listening Julian.

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My hero worship goes on

I'm just can't get enough if this stuff. And it goes on and it seems.

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    5 out of 5 stars

The best in the Kydd series so far

This in my opinion is the best of the Thomas Kydd series so far. I honestly wish I could give it more than five stars.

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  • Craig
  • 12-10-20

Dull and Boring. No More Juice for This Series

When Kydd's wife demands that she travel with him to the Adriatic, with merely perfunctory objection from the Captain, I knew this novel was going to turn into another sea-soap-drama. At book 23, I have not continued this series to hear about the Kydd's spousal intrigues. They are boring and petty micro-studies of a dead era where faux (writer-invented) privilege and class intrigue stink up the dialogue. I want fictional history, battles, and 17th century sea technologies to shiver my timbers, not petticoats and maidservants. I don't really care about the view from Kydd's wife's villa or her dread when his ship comes to harbor with holes in its sails. This novel starts dull, the first battle is perfunctory sea-pulp and the canned tensions with superiors are predictable and pedestrian. Just returned this book. Done with the series before the war ends. Besides, Patrick Tull and Frederick Davidson already told me who wins.