Listen free for 30 days

Listen with a free trial

One credit a month, good for any title to download and keep.
Unlimited listening to the Plus Catalogue - thousands of select Audible Originals, podcasts and audiobooks.
Exclusive member-only deals.
No commitment - cancel anytime.
Buy Now for £24.99

Buy Now for £24.99

Pay using card ending in
By completing your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and authorise Audible to charge your designated card or any other card on file. Please see our Privacy Notice, Cookies Notice and Interest-based Ads Notice.

Summary

As the streets of Paris are overrun with revolutionary fervour, England prepares for the inevitable war with France. Lieutenant Charles Hayden is a man of undeniable ability. The son of an Englishman, his allegiance to the English Crown is beyond dispute. But, with a French mother, and without any influence in the Admiralty, he is seemingly overlooked for his first commission as Master and Commander. Instead, he is posted to an ageing frigate, the Themis.

When she takes to sea to hunt the enemy, Lieutenant Hayden is immediately caught between a tyrannical captain and a crew pushed to the verge of mutiny. Disaffection turns to violence, and Hayden is torn between honour and duty, as the magnificent Royal Navy engages the French in a centuries-old struggle for power...

©2007 Sean Thomas Russell (P)2008 WF Howes Ltd

What listeners say about Under Enemy Colours

Average customer ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    132
  • 4 Stars
    51
  • 3 Stars
    9
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    5
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    71
  • 4 Stars
    22
  • 3 Stars
    5
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    1
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    72
  • 4 Stars
    22
  • 3 Stars
    6
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    1

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Brilliant

This book for me had it all - drama, battles, intrigue, romance, comedy and nail biting suspense throughout. It focuses on a man who is split between England and France, and chooses his Father's native England over this Mothers homeland. Trying desperately to rise to Master and Commander he takes on a daring mission to be second in command to a captain who's reputation is nothing but glorious. He has to fight in all corners to keep himself alive but manages to pick up a number of allies as he goes along. You feel yourself feeling bitter and twisted with our hero as his luck often falls short and there is often a sense of injustice that reminds us of how hard it must have been to have not been from a rich and powerful family and to try and progress in the naval ranks.

The book itself is a true masterpiece - it doesn't focuss too much on 'geeky' Naval speak and although is discriptive the author doesn't feel the urge to show off throughout about how much they know. The characters are well definded and brilliant. The author grants us intelligence enough to not have to explain every action made or the rationale behind it and this really helps the book move very quickly. The reader of the audibook is someone I have found no better of - he was wonderful and very apt for this book.

For an American author the ending suprised me and I can only hope another book is coming as I simply can't get enough of it!

I loved this book and I can honestly say it is one of the best books I have ever read.

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Under Enemy Colours

Very good story and very well read,

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Damn your eyes Mr Christian!

not a bad listen to kill the commute..but formulaic and could have been read better..Cpt Hart just to bad to be real.
I'm spoilt by patrick O'Brien unfortunately..nothing comes close when you've read all his books..

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Under Enemy Colours

Excellent listen,this was my first audio book and i was more than happy with the experience.This book is very well read and thoroughly entertaining,would have no hesitation in recommending this audiobook to anyone.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

A bit too long

Not a bad first attempt at a nautical adventure. However, it is a poor addition to an already crowded market. Also a bit too long. It is comes across as a scene setter for a possible series of books. I would recommend the Kydd Series by Julian Stockwin which are far superior.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Rivetting story - hard to put down

I really enjoyed this and my dog ended up having exceptionally long walks so that I could listen to this wonderful book - the exploits of Lt Charles Hayden RN with his tyrannical useless captain. I rate this as up with the best of this genre. I can't wait to download and read the next one.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • I
  • 02-04-12

Excellent Historical Novel

Once I started listening I had trouble getting out of the car! spending unnecessary time on the drive , eager to know what happened. Thoroughly enjoyable. the story moved along at an excellent pace

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Under Enemy Colours

Fast paced adventure story of a superior kind: Well researched historically, three dimensional characters and very well read too. Highly recommended. Can't wait for the follow up!...

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Under Enemy Colours

I am an addict to this type of historical novel, the great Patrick O'Brien, and others like Richard Woodman etc etc This is a really good book form this type of genre, from the hero's first steps onto his new ship your hooked, it has all the battles and below deck intrigue. A very well read book you forget the narrator and sale with them. finished the 14hr plus in 3 days... next instalment please

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great story

Interesting, exciting, easy to follow. Fast paced and rip roaring.

The narration is very good, clear refined and with good regional accents. I would only say Nick Boulton changes the volume of his voice, which may normally be a good dramatic device, however it is super frustrating with an audiobook. It had me scrabbling for the volume button ever 10 minutes.

He/the sound mixer improved by the end.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for John R. Nova Scotia
  • John R. Nova Scotia
  • 31-01-15

This novel that will leave you content and wanting

This was a singular addiction. The story draws you in, completely.
The verbal imagery is rich and complex with a story that is anything but formulaic.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Brodie
  • Brodie
  • 24-11-09

A different spin on the British Navy

First the reading was a delight with rich characterisation and there are few who can touch Nick Boulton in setting the tone of the times. When a voice combines with words in a way that delivers a sense of smell and taste, you know you are being transported and that is the joy of audio books.

If you like tales of the sea, if your heart quickens to the terminology that describes the goings on upon a naval ship of the line, if the smell of hemp and tar and salt takes you into a time and place, then you will not be dissapointed.

This book needs a followup like Hornblower so the adventure can continue. The ending did not promise a future read with any conviction but that in no way dilutes the tale.

So if you need prompting, 'let the Bos'n take the starter to you!'