This second story in the Kydd and Renzi series is a change of pace. Another compulsive page turner. The first story saw Kydd press ganged and taken aboard the “Royal Billy” a line of battle ship. At the end of that story, Kydd and Renzi were transferred to a new ship together with their mess mates as a group of Able Seamen, an unexpected and welcome addition to the frigate’s crew, depleted by detailing crew members to prize duty. This second book develops the characters and their relationships against a well-paced account of the voyages of the “Artemis”. Where the “Royal Billy” was a solid floating gun battery intended to closely engage similar vessels in set piece Fleet actions, “Artemis” is a greyhound of the seas, a commerce raider and soloist. Frigates combined speed, manoeuvrability and firepower. They required nimble sailors and provided close comradeship without the ceremony and formality of a line of battleship. If this was not to be change enough, Kydd and Renzi are both rated Petty Officers making the enormous move from a seaman’s mess to a Petty Officer’s mess where they become comrades of men who had previously been their task masters. Stockwin paints a full colour picture of naval life and the new environment of the frigate. His careful research, basing this book on the stories of real ships and sailors, pays off and the reader is engaged in the world of Kydd and Renzi

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