Saturday, August 01, 2015

Tyger: Much to Treasure in the 16th Novel in the Kydd Series

Book Review: Tyger by Julian Stockwin
an uncorrected advance proof copy

We are at sea again. Transported back to 1807 European waters under the command of Sir Thomas Kydd, captain of the captured-French frigate L’Aurore, we return to the comradeship of friends with names like Bowden, Stirk, and Dowd. All memorable characters that weave like threads through past Kydd novels.

But L’Aurore is no longer seaworthy and we have to give her up to the dry docks, and all our friends are set adrift.

There is hope of command of a new heavy frigate being freshly built, but instead Captain Kydd is given command of another frigate, Tyger, sequestered offshore because she has recently been the victim of a mutiny. It’s Kydd’s duty to bring this dangerous crew back into fighting shape under service of king and country, and thus is set the conflict underlying our keen adventures in this high-seas age-of-sail tale. We are at sea again at Kydd's side, his only comrades.

In this well researched, excellently detailed new novel, we wrestle with a restless crew, board sneaky merchant ships for prize money, battle enemy frigates that out number and out gun us, explore uncertain Arctic waters as winter sets in, and then there is the ambitious Napoleon to consider.

Impeded by England’s naval triumph at Trafalgar, Napoleon has moved east on land to conquer most of Europe. The crew of Tyger is sent to the Baltic to aid Prussia in its desperate final hours under siege by the French and their allies. Oh, that bastard Napoleon and his unrelenting French forces! 

Can Kydd trust his crew and officers in battle and in crisis? We voyage vicariously through Kydd’s mind as he fights doubts and imagines daring solutions. We experience life at sea and death in battle. A few friends even re-emerge. Tyger becomes the Thomas Kydd tale that we have all come to admire through fifteen novels, and now in a sixteenth. There are twists and turns, failures and successes, and as always, the triumph at his darkest hour of our favorite English naval hero.

There’s no hiding that I am a huge fan of Julian Stockwin’s Thomas Kydd series. If you like heroic tales, great sea adventures, the romance of the age of the sail, and the details of historical fiction, then you will find much to treasure in Tyger, the next wonderful addition to this series.

Tyger reaches bookstores in October. Prepare to board for adventure!

(c) 2015. Alan Eggleston. All Rights Reserved.

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