Caribbee

B1875

It really does not seem like fourteen years since Stockwin wrote Kydd, the first book in his series of Kydd and Renzi tales. Then, Kydd was a young Guilford wigmaker who was taken by the press gang to serve as a sailor in the Royal Navy. The basic idea behind the stories was unique, featuring two young men from very different backgrounds who came together as tie mates. Previously, all of the great fictional stories set in the naval world of the French Revolutionary Wars and the Napoleonic Wars featured a hero who began as a Midshipman and rose through the Commissioned ranks to Post Captain or Admiral.

Forrester, Kent, Pope, O’Brian all wrote outstanding tales around their Commissioned heroes and entertained generations, prompting films based on their writing. From an unique starting point, Stockwin has become another member of the band of naval fiction writers who have achieved the highest standards of story telling. This latest story in the series is yet another compulsive page turner that will sell very well, attract new readers, and reward loyal fans.

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Hunting the Essex, A Journal of the Voyage of HMS Phoebe 1813-1814

B1874

This book falls within the excellent series of Authentic Voices. Editing has been sensitive and a useful foreword is provided by Professor Andrew Lambert, but the real author is a Midshipman writing his journal at the time of the epic chase. Many will be familiar with the story in its dramatized form by O’Brian in “The Far Side of the World” and the film that was draw from his book “Master and Commander”.

This book is equal to the finest novel, shows the many points where O’Brian blended historic fact with his fictional characters in “The Far Side of the World”, and has all of the excitement of the chase.

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Charles W Morgan

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Ripples In The Sand – the fourth voyage of Captain Jesamiah Acorne

B1873

B1873-k

Ripples In The Sand is a pirate tale and a very good one. There are all the necessary ingredients, battles, love and sex, exotic backgrounds, highs and lows, suspense and a hint of what will come in the next book in the series. The reader’s attention is held to the end of the story. The author has carried out thorough research that places this as an historical novel that is credible. Here we see new sides to the characters against a new background. Having now read all four published stories, the reviewer is sharing with other readers the desire to read book five but its not yet available. This demonstrates the quality of the published books. Each has produced new aspects of characters, environment, and events. Each book has justified its publication in its own right, but it is evident to the reader that there is a building process where the series has its own additional justification.

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Bring It Close – the third Voyage of Captain Jesamiah Acorne

B1872

Studying the fragments of records from the period does not make matters much clearer. The only thing that stands out is that the East Coast of North America and the waters of the Caribbean were infested with privateers and pirates, where a privateer continued on as a pirate in the many brief periods of peace. In time of war, the auctioning of cargo and vessels taken by privateers was as legitimate as the systems of Prizes operated by the English Admiralty to pay a bonus to victorious crews during war. In times of peace, Governors often turned a blind eye to the auctioning of goods taken by pirates, usually in return for a share in the proceeds.

The result is that there is a rich source of stories that can be spun from a lawless age. Bring It Close is one of these stories. There is a generous cast of characters in the book. Each is nicely drawn and credible. The plot flows through the good times and the bad for the various characters. There is also some helpful background information included, with drawings and maps.

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Pirate Code – the Second Voyage of Captain Jesamiah Acorne

B1871

B1871-k

Pirate Code is a pirate tale and a very good one. There are all the necessary ingredients, battles, love and sex, exotic backgrounds, highs and lows, suspense and a hint of what will come in the next book in the series. The reader’s attention is held to the end of the story. The author has carried out thorough research that places this as an historical novel that is credible. The characters introduced in the first book are developing and taking on new aspects as they are set in this second story. Without giving away the plot, this book has built on the foundations laid by the first book in the series and followed on from the hints that were contained in the original story.

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Sea Witch, The First Voyage of Jesamiah Acorne

B1870

B1870-k

Sea Witch is a pirate tale and a very good one. There are all the necessary ingredients, battles, love and sex, exotic backgrounds, highs and lows, suspense and a hint of what will come in the next book in the series. The reader’s attention is held to the end of the story. The author has carried out thorough research that places this as an historical novel that is credible.

In reviewing a novel, there is a fine line between providing enough information to encourage readers to rush out and buy a copy, and spoiling a great plot. The author has already written four books in this series and this is the first to be released. As all four stories have been provided by the publisher for review, they have been read in sequence. Each story stands in its own right, but they build on the previous stories. For a reader coming to the series at a later book, it is worth buying all the books, starting at the beginning, and reading right the way through, including the first story that the reader began with.

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Horse Manual

B1868

As with a Haynes Manual, there is lavish illustration in full colour. This very effectively supports the clear and easy to read text. As a result, many who buy this manual may not intend to buy a horse but read the manual for the informative presentation of horses, ponies and riding. Having read the manual on that basis, a number of readers will be motivated to go to the next stages, learning to ride, buying a host and finding an absorbing sport or hobby.

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De Havilland Mosquito, 1940 onwards (all marks), Owners’ Workshop Manual

B1866

The Mosquito was arguably the most important combat aircraft of World War Two. It was built largely from wood, equipped with two Rolls Royce Merlin engines and was able to outrun German fighter aircraft at the time of its introduction. Not only did the Mosquito make innovative use of materials to create a strong fast aircraft that made minimum demand on increasingly rare strategic materials, but it was to serve in a very wide range of combat roles, performing outstandingly in all of them.

The Manual does justice to an outstanding aircraft.

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