Port De Soller Mallorca

Port De Soller Mallorca

Saturday, 15 December 2012

Book Review: Betrayal by Julian Stockwin

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Betrayal, 13th in the Kydd series and not at all an unlucky number and, like the previous 12, a stand alone read. I read this in hard cover format and while I do love my Kindle proper and kindle app on the iPad, it really was a delight to get back to print and doubly so when you know you are in for a great read...

Stockwin doesn't disappoint. He is not troubled by the problem some other authors suffer from in writing a series with continuing characters and in trying to keep them engaged in interesting story lines that will draw the reader in to the world the characters inhabit. Writing 'historical fiction' and drawing on real events to give us a lesson in British history. It is a history, that we may not always be proud of, but what there can be no doubt of, is that there were men of valour and bravery who went out, on behalf of their country and King, and did what was needed of them to protect and extend the 'empire' and who fitted into their time perfectly.

Kydd and the crew of HMS L'Aurore, a thirty two gun Frigate were one such band of men, men who were fiercely loyal to their Captain, their ship, their shipmates and their Country and when called upon to do their duty, would do so with guts and dorryng do....

Having won the battle to wrest the Cape from the Dutch as told in Conquest Kydd, along with the rest of the fleet and indeed the Army, find themselves in a bit of a hiatus with little to do when Commodore Popham puts to him a plan to sail to the South American continent and take the Spanish colonies from Spain.  There are no orders for this and if they embark on the mission they could face a Courts Martial for leaving their post, but, if they do and they can pull it off, the riches to be gained for the country which is still reeling from the cost of the Napoleonic wars, could save them and the country.  Can it be done or does the title of the book suggest failure....?  Do you know your history, I had no idea that we had invaded the Southern American countries , but we did and not just once, and this is the wonderful thing about Mr Stockwin, he takes our history and gives it back to us in almost, I am sure, as dramatic a fashion as it occurred at the time.  People coming up with fantastical ideas, knowing that they are going to be outnumbered and with no supply lines for material, food or reserve forces, and then leap across the world in sailing ships to put the plan into action.

This was another page turner from a Sailor who knows his craft both in terms of Sailing ships of old and in storytelling.  His introduction of characters both old and new is eloquent and enlightening, you end up checking wikipedia and other sources, not to catch him out but because he, through his story telling just ends up making you want to know more about those times, and the people who forged our history for good or for bad it is our history and brought to us in a most enjoyable way.

Editing for Kindle: Read in Hardback
Reading Enjoyment: 5 out of 5
Plot: 5 out of 5
Overall Rating: 5 out of 5
No of Pages: 365 plus 2 page Glossary*
Chapters: 16

* I note in the hardback that the Glossary is at the end of the book, which I fully understand, in print, is where it normally is, BUT, as I am forever pointing out if this is in the same place on the Kindle edition - NOT GOOD.  It should be at the front of the Kindle edition for the simple reason of, if the reader is reading it and refers to the glossary at any time the device will always revert to the Glossary if the reader loses his/her place and utilises the 'go to last page read' option to find where they left off. Irritation beyond belief then kicks in for the reader!

You can connect with Mr Stockwin at: http://www.julianstockwin.com/ and on twitter @julianstockwin


  1. Replies
    1. Good, you won't regret it and I think it may be right up Oscar's street too


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