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Kydd (Kydd Sea Adventures, #1)
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Kydd (Kydd Sea Adventures #1)

3.8 of 5 stars 3.80  ·  rating details  ·  717 ratings  ·  48 reviews
KYDD announces a major new voice in naval adventure writing.
Unknown Binding, 446 pages
Published November 15th 2001 by Not Avail (first published January 2001)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,360)
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I picked this book up from the library because I liked the cover art. I thought this book had a really great premise and was definitely a fun adventure story. I also felt like I was learning quite a bit of history about life in the Royal Navy. My main problem with the book was that it was always a little too easy for Kydd. How many pressed men who were formerly wig-makers would decide to embrace sailing and then just easily pick up all these specialized skills in such a short time? The author is...more
DeLace Munger
I found the intensely authentic use of nautical terms to be a bit overwhelming in this novel. The action did pick up but it took a while to get there. I almost think the author would have been well served to include a diagram of the vessel and the various parts that have such strange and mysterious names.

I agree with others who say that the character progresses a bit too quickly and that things seem to go a bit too easily for him but he does experience some great unfairness as well and I would...more
Siew Ee
This naval adventure book is set in 1793, at the time of the French Revolution, when France declared war on Britain, Austria and some other countries [US was neutral in this case]. The first book in this series, it chronicles the sea adventures of 17-year-old Thomas Kydd, a wig-maker, who was press-ganged into service on the warship, Duke William. Although it did not keep me deeply engrossed throughout, I enjoyed it and the 2nd half of the book was more happening. You learn a lot about life as a...more
Anthony Lavisher
I really enjoyed this adventure story. From the harsh and sometimes shocking reality of life aboard a naval ship, to the camaraderie that develops between Kydd and some of his fellow shipmates, I was totally hooked by Julian Stockwin's tale.
From the off, I was drawn into the story, fascinated by the insight the author gives the reader into what life must have been like aboard one of His Majesty's ships. Whilst the sea-faring talk took a couple of chapters for me to get to grips with, it only hel...more
With the loss of Patrick O'Brian his fans were left wanting more adventure. Julian Stockwin has picked up the pen and is continuing the story of British sailors and their wooden ships of war. Stockwin is a new voice telling the story from a different perspective. It doesn't take long to get to know his characters and develop an interest in their activities. Critics of this first installment have pointed out that Thomas Kydd seems to be excelling a bit too rapidly. In the first book he goes from...more
Aug 31, 2008 Duzzlebrarian rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: slashfic authors....
This book is the first of the series, and therefore the clumsiest. They get better. Actually, they get very good.

Stockwin is the only good successor to O'Brian and Forester. The difference between his series and theirs is the fact that Kydd starts out as the lowest landlubber in the navy, so that as he learns his way around, so do you. The idea of Kydd and Renzi managing to stay in the same ship all the time is a little hard to believe, but it's a small quibble.

Also, incidentally, the cover ar...more
One more hope dashed - that of finding a historical novel that would be on par with the fantastic writing of Patrick O'Brian.

As opposed to Captain Aubrey, freshly promoted to Master and Commander in the beginning of the eponymous book, Kydd is a pressed man, and he comes by way of the foc'sle. The first novel was entertaining enough, although the melodrama is present already in spades, but by the end of this first book it was already clear, that no amount of historical accuracy or cockney accen...more
This was an amazing, refreshing book. I came out of it feeling like I had literally experienced the life of a sailor during the late 18th century; I could feel the salty tang of the wind, the exhilaration of danger and excitement and that feeling of isolation from the rest of the world upon the floating fortress that was the Duke William. It could be because this book was a complete reversal in genre that I have been reading lately, but I think that his book stands heads and shoulders above it's...more
Lydia Presley
Original review posted here

So imagine it’s the year is 1793 and you are sitting in a nice little tavern, enjoying a drink. A shout is heard, and you immediately stand up and make your way to an exit – you’re just an ordinary wig-maker, not used to hard labor. Instead, you are grabbed and, along with several other men, tossed into the hold of a ship – your future that of a pressed sailor for His Majesty’s Navy.

So begins the story of Thomas Kydd – a young wigmaker who is forced to look into living...more
Jan 27, 2010 Curtiss rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: To any fan of nautical adventure stories.
Unusual for a nautical adventure series, this is told from the perspective of a hand before the mast; Thomas Kydd begins the tale as a Guildford wigmaker "pressed" into service with the Royal Navy.

Not quite as overall enjoyable as the Hornblower stories of C.S. Forester, or as literat in style as Patrick O'Brian's stories of Captain Jack Aubrey and his colleague Ship's Surgeon Stephen Maturin, but Stockwin's story somehow manages to convey new insights into the world of old-time sailing ships an...more
I'm not really sure what to think of this book. As far as historical accuracy, it's well done, but I find the story and characters lacking somewhat. I can't get a handle on Kydd's character - at the end, he doesn't behave in ways that I would expect from his characterization at the beginning. Yes - this is a story about his "rebirth", so it's expected that he will undergo some transformation, but it doesn't quite ring true. Can't put a finger on it.

As for the plot, it seems as if the author want...more
Sam Reaves
Starting with C.S. Forester a whole genre emerged of adventure novels about the British navy during the Napoleonic Wars. Patrick O'Brian's great saga transcended the genre; most authors don't reach those literary heights but can be depended on to deliver a good escapist read. Julian Stockwin's Kydd is an unusual hero in that he is a pressed man, a hapless wigmaker scooped up by the press gang (the 19th century's draft board) and forcibly taken to sea. As befits a hero, he makes the best of the s...more
Dave Wateridge
A difficult to read book. I can understand the authors intention of introducing you to the various parts of a ship and numerous nautical terms but the first quarter of the book comes across as a guidebook and does not advance the story at all and also feels very contrived.

The story is also not helped by the way the characters speak, the accents may be authentic but does not allow for easy reading and sometimes the meaning is totally lost.

There also appears to be some formatting issues where a sc...more
A good book with respects to all things nautical. If you're not in to nautical or maritime books this story is not for you.

The author is very detailed in his description of nautical life on an English ship of the line in the 18th century. One needs to be very patient when reading because of all the terms used which can be overwhelming and down right confusing.

The story overall is not new, young man gets pressed in to the king's service, young man suffers trials and tribulations, young man comes...more
Excellent novel, a real next page button pusher. I could hardly put my Kindle down. As soon as I finished the novel I immediately downloaded the next two Kydd novels in the series. The second novel in the series so far looks to be every bit as good and the first. What a delight to have found this whole series of good books.

I read all of the Patrick O’Brian Aubrey/Maturin series and even listened to some of them later on on audio books. I loved that series. This series by Julian Stockwin looks to...more
Chriscal Lee
I have marked the book as read but sadly my 2nd hand copy had quite a number of the final pages missing. So I did not actually finish. In advance of reading the book I had printed off a diagram from the internet showing the anatomy of such a ship and a guide of nautical terms both of which would have been useful to have been included within the book. Bewildered at times and bored by.the pace of the story but I now find myself with a greater knowledge of what it must have been like as crew aboard...more
Set in 1793 during the Napoleonic War between England and France, there isn't alot about the war itself but it is an interesting look at life on board a british navy ship. Unlike other books of this type who look at the navy from an officers view, this one is from the view of a man 'pressed' into service.

I really could have used a schematic of the 98 gun ship featured in the book as, for the most part, the descriptions were lost on me but the detail and accuracy of the story is undeniable.

It ma...more
For Julian Stockwin's first novel it was not too bad. However the book appeared to be disjointed in several spots within the text. For example where I felt there should be chapter breaks there were none. That being said I am reading the second book in the series now and it appears to be laid out in a better format. So if you can get through the first book it is well worth reading the second novel in my opinion. If you cannot read the first book do not worry there is not much carry through and wh...more
David Eppenstein
If you are a fan of the late Patrick O'Brian and his Aubrey/Maturin series then this book and, probably the series, will be your cup of tea. I must admit to discovering this author and his work late in its progress but thanks to Goodreads I did manage to find them. Now that I have read the first entry in this author's series I will definitely seek out the rest. The age of fighting sail is a ceaselessly enjoyable period in history full of great tales of the sea and the people that manned the grea...more
Got me hooked on the series.
Julie H. Ferguson
May 16, 2013 Julie H. Ferguson rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: naval history buffs, action story readers
I will be reading more books by Julian Stockwin and not only because I love seafaring stories. I want to enjoy more of the author's excellent writing and research.
His characterization and plot is first class, and his ability to increase tension and write action scenes serves readers well. But it is his ability to create realism in the setting of a Royal Navy ship of the line at the time of the French revolution that captivated me.
Superb reading and highly recommended for all who love historical...more
Paul Slater
The year is 1793 and Europe is ablaze with war. The Prime Minister is under pressure to stand up to France. The British fleet needs recruits. Hence the press gangs grab a young wig make from Guildford. Before he knows it the 98 gun line-of-battle ship Duke William has a new recruit. Young Kydd takes to the life at sea. An Excellent read. Thoroughly enjoyable.
Lengthy chapters and slow read caused this book to take forever. But you know what it was great and worth the time. The detail that Stockwin put into describing each part of the ship and how it is taken care of is invaluable to the story. The growth of Kydd from the beginning to the end was interesting. This man was taken from one livelihood and forced into another and later embraced it. Looking forward to book 2.
I'm so stuck on this one. It's chock full of useful information for people who like nautical jargon (like me), but it takes itself so seriously and is so linear and episodic (like half-hour TV) that I haven't found a reason to pick it up in a week...

Update: I finished it - since I had nothing else to finish. It's not badly written, and I learned one new vocab word (caracole), but it's not artfully written either.

Jack Alexander
Wonderful fictional tale of Thomas Kydd, pressed into naval service and rose through ranks. The 1800's language and nautical theme were rousingly depicted through lull, storm, grief and battle as we follow the adventures of Kydd. This was a good fun read.
This was a great book to explain naval warfare of the 18th century. Press gangs, foremast, and top mizzens, rated seamen over land lubbers. However, the story was slow to develop. So if you are ex-navy or really interested in that time frame of naval warfare, I recommend it. If not the story in and of itself is not good enough to stand alone.
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One of the only naval-fiction author in my extensive and ever-growing collection whose hero is a pressed man who knows nothing about life at sea, and who experiences his first voyage from the lower decks. A great summer read, and I look forward to the rest of the series.
Too much historical detail, not enough attention to character and story development, and the dialogue is cliched. The author's knowledge of the historical detail is admirable, but the book veers away from novel and into textbook territory.
Joel Fair
Would love to give this four stars but it is alittle too far fetched. Enjoyed Stockwin's writing style and character development but struggled with the possibility of all of these things happening. I do look forward to the next book.
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Julian Stockwin was sent at the age of fourteen to Indefatigable, a tough sea-training school. He joined the Royal Navy at fifteen. He now lives in Devon with his wife Kathy. Julian has written 14 books to date in the Kydd series of historical adventure fiction, the story of one man's journey from pressed man to admiral in the age of fighting sail, and a non-fiction book, 'Stockwin's Maritime Misc...more
More about Julian Stockwin...
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