Tuesday, April 02, 2019

A Sea of Gold: Quintessential Kydd and a Great Read!

Book Review: A Sea of Gold by Julian Stockwin
Version: Publisher provided

For my money, Sea of Gold is the best in Julian Stockwin's 21-book Thomas Kydd series yet.

Sea of Gold picks up where Iberian Flame leaves off, with Captain Sir Thomas Kydd in command of the British frigate Tyger off the Mediterranean coast of Spain. He joins another frigate captain, Lord Thomas Cochrane, who is famous for daring raids against France. Both are to fight off Napoleon's attempts to retake Spain, chasing after French forces off the east coast of France and Spain and the eastern end of the Pyrenees mountains. Then the two join forces in league against a French fleet off the west coast of France running the British blockade in an attempt to leave for the Caribbean to make mischief in the colonies. You join in the skirmishes and battles as Stockwin engages the reader in the fun of well detailed drama and action of the seas, in harbors, and in close quarters as Kydd and his crew work desperately around uncertain conditions and under unreliable leaders to beat back foes, French and British.

In another part of Europe, Kydd's good friend Renzi (Lord Farndon) becomes involved in foreign intrigue to aid the British government in funding its lone ally, Austria, in the battle against France. Risking his life and freedom from inside French territory, Renzi also unknowingly puts Kydd's persona fortune in jeopardy, a result of Kydd's exploration of insurance speculation during personal time off back in London. Making for a touching scene later in this story, Kydd's long-time crew rush to the captain's rescue to help him save his home and career.

Most of the Kydd-series books feature detailed battle scenes and great interactions with his crew. More recently Stockwin has turned to historical events removed from action at sea and focused on international events. Well, Sea of Gold gets back to the heart of action at sea and what makes the characters click as a crew. Everything comes back together in this highly enjoyable read of what I think brings loyal readers back to Stockwin's stories again and again. Sea of Gold is quintessential Kydd and a great read!

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