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Another Great Kydd Novel
on May 29, 2007
"Tenacious" is the sixth, and best so far, book in Julian Stockwin's "Kydd" series. These books are set in the Napoleonic-era Royal Navy and follow in the same vein as C.S. Forester's Horatio Hornblower and Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey-Maturin books.
In "Tenacious," Lieutenant Kydd is posted aboard the 64-gun Tenacious. Kydd sees action at the Battle of the Nile (where he meets Horatio Nelson and is inspired in his career by that great leader), the retaking of Minorca, and the Siege of Acre. Kydd, who began his career as a pressed seaman, is now a confident leader and officer in the Royal Navy - and more importantly, an inspired fighter.
Although this genre was obviously inspired by C.S. Forester and Patrick O'Brian, the Kydd novels remind me more of Bernard Cornwell's "Sharpe" series of books. Richard Sharpe started as a private in the British Army and ended up an officer, just as Kydd started as a pressed seaman and eventually walked the quarterdeck as an officer. But more than that, Kydd's adventures, and Stockwin's use of some dramatic license to involve Kydd in almost every major military engagement of the time (whether at land or at sea), are more in the style of the Sharpe books than the older Hornblower or Aubrey-Maturin books.
Stockwin can tell great sea tales about Thomas Kydd, and this book is a must-read for anyone who enjoys military historical fiction or the Napoleonic era.