Kydd by Julian Stockwin
I came late to the books of Julian Stockwin and that I started to read his stories is because being disabled and not always able to get out myself, Maureen was the one who saw “Conquest” the quick choice shelf at Pimlico library and knowing how much I am partial to yarns of this sort she had no worries in getting it for me, in any case I read this novel and was instantly captivated by the escapades of Thomas Kydd and Nicholas Renzi.
I read two more books that was out of sequence these were “Treachery” and “The Admiral’s Daughter”, I made a determined effort to start again at the beginning of the series of books and so we now start with;
Thomas Paine Kydd is press-ganged in Guildford, and is wrenched from his safe profession of wig making to join the crew of the 98-gun line-of-battle ship Duke William. We have been treated to the horrors of the below-deck life of the common seaman before, but Stockwin renders these scenes as exuberantly as any of his predecessors. He is also particularly good at delineating the changing character of his hero, as Kydd comes to admire the skills of the seamen and (of course) becomes a true sailor himself. Although, at times, the book has the feel of the setting up of a new series, it’s none the worse for that. Stockwin can command your attention with ease when his writing has such unyielding power as:
This the first book in a series of stories about Thomas Kydd and his friend Nicholas Renzi, and I liked it I now know who, what, why and where these two met and as this is another rollicking good yarn from one of my favourite story weavers of true boy’s own adventures I was well pleased.
I really appreciated the meticulous background knowledge that Julian Stockwin gives of life at sea at the time of the Napoleonic wars and found myself transported back to the era that made the Royal Navy under the command of great seagoing heroes like Nelson great.
This story follows the life of Thomas Kydd who is against his will pressed into naval service, a much more ruthless world in contrast to his life ashore as a wig maker.
At times I did find myself paying a visit to the dictionary or the laptop to translate some of the naval slang and jargon along with some 18th century wording, but I didn’t mind that as Julian wants us to be immersed into that era for a more complete adventure (I think).
As I have already read some of this series I recommend this book I believe that Julian Stockwin is an instinctive teller of tales and, with Thomas Kydd and the captivating intrigues he is a man with a stunning imagination and just as unfalteringly his research is truthful and matchless.
I can’t recommend the stories of Thomas Kydd by Julian Stockwin highly enough.
- Review: Treachery (astrochef.wordpress.com)
- Review: Conquest (astrochef.wordpress.com)
- Review: The Admiral’s Daughter (astrochef.wordpress.com)