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Summary

1808. With the Peninsula in turmoil, Napoleon Bonaparte signs a treaty to dismember Portugal and put his brother, Joseph, on the throne of Spain.

Meanwhile, Nicholas Renzi, the Lord Farndon, undertakes a deadly mission to stir up partisan unrest to disrupt this Napoleonic alliance with Spain.

Thrust into the crucible of the uprising, Captain Sir Thomas Kydd is dismayed to come up against an old foe from his past - now his superior and commander - who is determined to break him. Kydd will soon face the greatest decision of his professional career.

Bonaparte, incensed by the reverses suffered to his honour, gathers together a crushing force and marches at speed into Spain. After several bloody encounters the greatly outnumbered British expedition have no option other than make a fighting retreat to the coast. Only the Navy can save them.

But the flame of insurrection has been lit - and the Peninsular War has begun.

©2018 Julian Stockwin (P)2018 Hodder & Stoughton Limited

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Kydd's Flame Still Shines Brightly!

When I listened to the first Thomas Kydd novel I had no idea that just over three years later I would be finishing the 20th book all read by that pure salty breeze Mr Christian Rodska. It's been a hell of a ride and I am already looking forwards to the next one

I don't think that this finished as one of my favourites within the series but it has an awful lot to offer all the same. It starts in what now is a familiar format with effectively a Kydd mini-adventure tacked on the front. These are like little windows into Stockwin's wider research which is quite prodigious. This one sees Kydd entangled with French officers in England on parole and opened my eyes to yet another facet and custom of this fascinating period.

There is another face-off with an authority figure meaning that not only England's fate but Kydd's own lies in the balance. A number of adventures follow based around Spanish and Portuguese resistance to Napoleon's armies as Stockwin follows detailed historical events. As a result there's a lot of different adventures and tasks for Kydd meaning that perhaps the novel doesn't quite hit the heights of some previous ones.

There's still plenty of action, enjoyable historical detail, some skullduggery from Renzi and of course the salty spray to the ears that is Christian Rodska making it highly enjoyable.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • d
  • 22-07-18

Review

Very slow more historical than anything very odd for these set of books I’ve read twenty

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    5 out of 5 stars
  • James E Gilchrist
  • 28-06-18

Magnificent

Magnificent and glory - filled to the last line. Not to be missed! Relished it!

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  • SD
  • 14-06-18

Mediocre Story, Mediocre Story Telling

I have been a fan of the Thomas Kydd but this book just seemed very shoddily put together. And after listening to narrators like Nick Podehl, Tim Gerard Reynolds, John Lee and William Dufris - Christian Rodska just sounds below average.