Summary

1793 and Europe is ablaze with war. Thomas Paine Kydd, a young wig-maker from Guildford, is seized by the press gang to be a part of the crew of the 98-gun line-of-battle ship Duke William. The ship sails immediately and Kydd has to learn the harsh realities of shipboard life fast. Despite all that he goes through in danger of tempest and battle he comes to admire the skills and courage of the seamen - taking up the challenge himself to become a true sailor. Kydd is the first book in the acclaimed series, and is based on real events.
©2001 Julian Stockwin (P)2014 Audible, Inc.
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Simon on 05-10-15

The Launch of a Top-Notch Series

This is where it all start for Thomas Payne Kydd, a wigmaker from Guildford who is press-ganged into service with Her Majesty's Navy. What ensues from here is a long-running series of genuine quality by an author who not only writes a thrilling yarn with engaging characters but who also knows his subject in great depth.

This novel introduces Kydd in the hardest of circumstances as a pressed man and follows him as he struggles to come to terms with a life at sea and the brutal rules that apply to it. It also introduces the highly enigmatic Nicholas Renzi.

As a first book in the series it is not without its issues. The naval terminology is borne from deep knowledge but can confuse the layman (like me) at times. The book is fairly derivative of other naval historical fiction and the characters clearly need more investment before we see them become fully rounded. Though in fairness, the character of a pressed man would be either one of a defeated man from the start or would take time to develop.

This may sound slightly critical but peruse the reviews of the rest of the series and it's easy to see the quality that Stockwin brings to bear. The book itself is still highly enjoyable. What is undoubted though is that Christian Rodska hits the right tone right from the very beginning and does a superb job of the narration.

This has become one of my favourite series in the genre. If the above seems critical and you like this kind of fiction I would say don't be put off. This is just the beginning and when all is said it's a more than decent start!

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16 of 18 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By BILL on 09-12-14

Hooked

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes I would..

Exciting start got me hooked, it is much like Hornblower, also Rodska is perfect for the reading. Although when he is narrating he sometimes uses the character voice, mildly amusing but does not spoil the feel of the storyline.......

Who was your favorite character and why?

Undecided, one of my favourite characters was killed of too early...

What does Christian Rodska bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

He brings life and images too all the characters, he is why I went from Hornblower to Kydd, I am Ex-Army so a nautical novel was far from my liking, but now I am hooked....

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Knowing some of the characters are in future books it is hard to feel too much when a character is going through a possible hazardous situation.

Any additional comments?

Looking forward to my next book.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Raymond W. Hill, Jr. on 07-11-14

Intriguing storyline

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I am a fan of all Nineteen Century sailing stories....Aubry+Maturn, Ramage, Bilitho, Dewey Lambert, Hornblower, etc......this well written book (performed by Rodska an excellent narrator).....is right up there with the best of the group....a little bit of a unexpected yarn....that of a landsman beginning a naval career.....but with enough twists and turns to make it interesting....I will go on to the next in the series

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Axel on 24-12-14

Good Sea Yarn

What did you love best about Kydd?

Interesting plot. You see life from a sailor's, not officer's, point of view.

What other book might you compare Kydd to and why?

Dewy Lambdin's series - although Lambdin is better.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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