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The Assiduous Quest of Tobias Hopkins: The Complete Novel

4.21  ·  Rating details ·  96 ratings  ·  70 reviews
The Assiduous Quest of Tobias Hopkins - The Complete novel

The first volume in the Tobias Hopkins series.
It is October in the year 1675. New England trader, Tobias Hopkins, arrives in Jamaica to discover the truth about his missing father. It transpires that, not only has the man been dead for six years, but he has left Toby with a half-brother and the clue to an inherita
Kindle Edition, 281 pages
Published March 7th 2015 by James Faro (first published February 10th 2015)
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4.21  · 
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 ·  96 ratings  ·  70 reviews

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Hmm, where to start with this one? Assiduous Quest is a good little read. For those who like the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, you will enjoy the setting of this novel. Although I suspect Faro is more historically accurate.

I was utterly impressed with the writing itself in this novel. The prose flowed nicely, pacing was good, dialogue was character-appropriate and consistent, characters showed depth and growth, and the plot took quite a few meanders off its main path.

My criticisms are that
Erik Volk
Oct 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
What a gloriously crafted novel! Mr. Faro's writing style mesmerized me throughout and completely transported me back to 17th century Jamaica. Although historical novels can often be drawn out, boring and the author so infatuated with historical accuracy that the story line becomes secondary to the historical references, this novel is so intriguing, mesmerizing and engaging that the reader cannot help but be drawn into it. The characters are colorful and engaging and often surprising! Love, mone ...more
Caroline Jayson
Mar 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I cannot praise this book highly enough. This book will transport you to the Jamaica of the late 17th century, making you feel you're really there. The story is gripping and keeps you guessing. Tobias Hopkins is looking for his father. I don't want to give away what he finds, but I can say that several other characters have an interest in his search. There is so much contained in this book, suspense, deception,trickery.The main characters are varied whilst the protagonist, Tobias, has an air of ...more
Shwetha H.S.
May 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-read
All my previous reviews have been so formal, but this book needs special treatment. Let me be informal with this awesome book which deals with life on and off sea where sailors are jovial.

When I started reading this book, I had no idea what it is about. Soon I felt like it is all about gory on sea. The story is set on the backdrop of colonial life and piracy. The protagonist of this story, Tobias Hopkins aka Toby, a captain and master of ship by profession, seems to be too nice of a person, inno
T.K. Lukas
May 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
In the opening paragraph, author James Faro poses a question that promises an adventure, and he doesn't disappoint. In a compelling tale of a young sea-faring captain named Tobais Hopkins who goes in search of his father, one can see clearly that Faro is well-versed in the language of the sea and all things nautical. Everything about his voice is authentic, written in the classical style, and his descriptions of the ships, the places, and the people draw you in and keep you turning the pages. Wi ...more
Robert Case
May 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Robert by: author
Shelves: fiction
The author's passion for seafaring, tall ships, and trade shines throughout this page turning yarn of risk and reward on the high seas of the seventeenth century Caribbean. The compelling main character, Tobias Hopkins, is more of an innocent than a swashbuckler. He is young, puritanical, and over his head from the opening chapter until the final pages. It was both entertaining and fascinating to read and observe as the plot unfolded and he matured as both a ship's captain and a man. Detailed de ...more
Michael Sahno
Aug 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
I received The Assiduous Quest of Tobias Hopkins by James Faro in exchange for an honest review.

I don’t often get a chance to read historical fiction, and know little about Jamaica in the late 17th century. So I was interested in reading this well paced adventure.

The protagonist of this story, Tobias Hopkins, a.k.a. Toby, is a complex character, by turns likable and annoying. Overall, I really enjoyed the story, and it was a quick, easy read.

Faro's understanding of the 18th century Caribbean is
Sep 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Let me begin by stating that the writing is flawless. The authenticity and the tone to the writing is exceptional and commendable! While reading, I could picture Jamaica and its inhabitants clearly. That's how wonderful and amazing James Faro's descriptions are!

Honestly, when I first started reading the book, I had no idea what it was about. I just knew from the title that Tobias Hopkins was going on a quest. What kind of quest, I did not know. But because the writing was well executed, I kept
Leon Huet
Dec 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A terrifically well-written novel that immediately immersed me within the 17th century Caribbean, with all the swashbuckling and adventure that brings to mind. The author writes in a lyrical, literary way that brings the story to life from the first page, plunging us into the sights, sounds and tastes of another world. Some might not be accustomed to (or like) a narrator who doesn’t spell everything out, but for me it really adds to the colour and believability of a tale – one you’re given fleet ...more
Ronesa Aveela
Jun 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This story is set in the late 1600s with much of the story taking place in Jamaica. The author's extensive research into that era and culture shows in the wonderful descriptions that transport you to that time and let you live among the people. You see the corruption and decadence of the port city, and can smell its stench.

The writing style as well makes you feel as if you are reading a classic novel from the past. I happen to be one who enjoys this type of writing, so I applaud the author for
David Carter
Apr 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Having just recently returned from Jamaica, I was interested to see that this book is partly set there during the 17th century. One of the strengths of the author is the way in which he makes you feel you are there, with the characters, you feel you're following in their footsteps.The detailed descriptions are very strong, and I particularly enjoyed the episodes set in Port Royal,in Jamaica.
It's not easy to predict what's going to happen in this book, there are many twists and turns. Some excel
Susan Day
Oct 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
If you like swash-buckling adventures you are going to love this book.
There is no doubt that the author’s naval history provided him with the knowledge and experiences to bring this tale to light.
Our hero is Tobias Hopkins, who we meet when he arrived in Jamaica to discover the truth about his missing father.
After finding his father had been dead for six years, Tobias also discovers he has a half-brother.
However, the adventures really begin when Toby receives clues about the possibility of an i
Matt Abraham
Jul 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Some reviewers have been likening this novel to Pirates of the Caribbean, however I feel that it’s far more similar in tone, pacing, and authenticity to Master and Commander. The story begins with a cannon bang that hooks the reader and drops them head first into a journey that does not disappoint. And I have to say it’s impressive because my tastes ussualy run to detective novels and science fiction, not turn of the century sea faring tale, but good writing is good writing and this story’s quit ...more
Davyne DeSye
Oct 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
This book certainly lives up to its description as a “historical thriller.”

The writing is impressive – a bit formal, which makes it absolutely perfect for a story set in the 17th century. The writing itself (the author’s word choices, sentence structure, etc.) adds so much to the book that I almost want to classify it as a character. Really well done. I loved the dialogue which seemed true and appropriate to each person.

Also, I very much enjoyed the vivid descriptions of life on a ship and in J
Yaron Glazer
Aug 07, 2015 rated it liked it
The Assiduous Quest of Tobias Hopkins is a historical thriller set in and around Jamaica in the 17th century. It narrates the travails of the titular Toby as he engages with a colorful assortment of sailors, prostitutes, and pirates, all while chasing the buried treasure of his estranged father.

There is much to like about The Assiduous Quest. The prose is clear and flows well, and the style transports the reader to the 17th-century setting of the novel. There were few false notes to this reader'
Sue Wyshynski
Dec 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book of treasure, pirates and the high seas very much.

James Faro sets the tone right from the start with a disaster aboard a ship, where the captain finds a missing arm and plucks a ring from one of the fingers to return to its owner. Now that's a pair of hardy seamen!

The tale takes place in the Caribbean during a time when Europe was still colonizing the Americas. It has a wild west meets the islands feel, particularly in one town that's populated with bawdy saloons, sailors, pr
Bianca Kent
Apr 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this.I thought this might be heavy going as it's set several hundred years ago but the writing is clear and the story is easy to follow. The book is about Tobias Hopkins, a sea captain, who sets out to find his missing father. Now, I don't have any interest in ships or sailing and whenever I've been on a boat I've always been incredibly ill, but I found this book very readable and I enjoyed reading the ship scenes, especially when the character Beatrice, is on board. Beatrice ha ...more
Tassa DeSalada
Oct 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: jamaica, thriller, mystery

It's the seventeenth century and the it's The Golden Age
Of Piracy. The story is set in the Carribean, specifically Jamaica, specifically Port Royal. That's the same place that Blackbeard and his peers hung out, when they weren't out at sea, sinking merchant ships. I've heard so many pirate stories (one of my fave subjects) that it's nice to read a more mundane exploration of that same time period and area.

Jamaica used to be a very rough place. This story effortlessly and thoroughly describes th
Terry Sprouse
Jun 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This tale is a classic “Hero’s Journey” story, what Joseph Campbell refers to as "mankind’s one great story.” All the archetypal components are here. The young sea captain, Tobias Hobias, undertakes a dangerous quest to Virginia, fraught with peril. In the process, the course of his life in changed forever as Tobias is required to 1) solve a series of perplexing mysteries, 2) advance his spiritual growth, and 3) ascend to his rightful role in life.

Tobias is a sailor in the 17th century who is ha
Ju Ephraime
Nov 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
James Faro's portrayal of 17th century Jamaica in, The Assiduous Quest of Tobias Hopkins is a colorful picturesque narrative. Fargo brings the reader into the scenes with his well-crafted, easy flow writing. Through the pages of the book, I was transported to Jamaica as it were in the 17th century. I smelled the food, witnessed the beautiful scenery, the pain, the hurt, I experienced it all. What a quest for poor Toby. The author portrays him true to cast. Actually, the entire cast of characters ...more
J.A. Kalis
Feb 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
James Faro is an impressive storyteller. His writing style is smooth and well-chosen to fit the story setting. His use of words adds authenticity to his narrative. Reading the story, I felt transported back in time to the 17th century Jamaica. The descriptions of the place are fascinating in their detail, vivid and colorful. The pace is brisk. The characters feel realistic and credible. The plot is well crafted, suspenseful, historically believable and endearing. Every single page holds interest ...more
Joshua Cook
Jul 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Being a fan of what's known as 'historical fiction' I was looking forward to reading this book, and I was not sorry I did. A well paced adventure, it takes the reader on one great adventure. The book was well written, and exposes you to a different time and place, where not everything was known, and finding out someone's true motives were a lot harder than today.

This was a very very good read. I very much recommend it for fans of the genre, and even for those who aren't.
Leonide Martin
Jun 24, 2016 rated it liked it
The quest of Tobias Hopkins is a personal one: to find his father who left England on a sea voyage and was not again heard from. Launched into the quest by tragic deaths of his family in a fire, he obtains a ship and sails to the West Indies in the 1670s. Tobias is first met as he battles to save his crew from pirates, eventually arriving in Jamaica after some rip-roaring battle scenes. There he follows clues about his father that lead to a plantation and step-family he never knew about and lear ...more
May 08, 2016 rated it really liked it

It starts with a shipwreck and privateers and then it gets really interesting. The Caribbean in the 17th century was a boisterous, much-disputed, violent place, where fortunes were made and lost overnight. This big, involved novel takes place mainly in Jamaica. The Tobias Hopkins of the title, is a young merchant captain who loses his vessel and hard-earned fortune on page 1 – and this is only the latest of his misadventures! Now, his challenges are to get another ship and eke out his depleted c
Feb 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The Assiduous Quest of Tobias Hopkins: the complete novel is by James Faro. It takes place on the island of Jamaica for the most part. The rest of the time it is on board ships. It takes place in the 1800’s when pirates used the island as a stopping point. Merchantmen also used this port. The English were in control of the island after having taken it from the Spanish. Two plots unravel simultaneously as the story progresses. Their plots intertwine and then separate only to intertwine again and ...more
Jul 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The Assiduous Quest of Tobias Hopkins is a historic seafaring adventure set in the Caribbean. Its author thoroughly knows his subject. James Faro takes you back to 17th century Jamaica with details, descriptions, and dialogue that are so vivid and authentic, you’ll swear he must have been a pirate of the Caribbean in a former life. Faro doesn’t try to overly impress the reader with historic detail, but rather blends it artfully into the story, bringing it to life, giving it meaning.

A series of
John Autero
Jan 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
“The Assiduous Quest of Tobias Hopkins” by James Faro is a well told story that takes you back to the 17th century when sailors and adventures traveled the seas alongside pirates and marauders. Tobias Hopkins is the captain of a ship that is wrecked in the shallows of Jamaica which forces him to struggle in search of a new ship and the arduous task of rebuilding his crew. Hopkin’s reason for traveling, which is the main theme of the story is to set up trade between Jamaica and the new colonies ...more
Bonnye Reed
Jun 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
XX The Assiduous Quest of Tobias Hopkins by James Faro was a gift the the author, James Faro. Thank you, Mr. Faro, for allowing me to read your work.

Toby Hawkins is the young Master of a new ship, the Chesapeake, sailing into the Caribbean (Barbados) from Virginia in the late 1600's. The journey is in search of trading partners, but behind that fact, and unknown to any of the crew, Toby is searching for his father, missing since Tobias was a youth in London.

It was a journey fraught with problem
Jay Saph
Nov 03, 2016 rated it liked it
Faro's novel follows the life of a young sea faring businessman (Tobias Hopkins) set in a 17th century New World/Caribbean setting. The story is mainly focused on Toby's search for his father coupled with his efforts to recover from the unexpected loss of his ship. Toby bumps into a whole plethora of characters during his quest that range from the seedy workers/frequenters of local whorehouses, farmers, mystery relatives, seafarers etc etc.

For me the real strength of the book was the author's a
Caroline Jayson
Apr 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is such a well written and thought out novel. Tobias Hopkins is a trader in the late 17th century. He's on a quest to find his missing father and is haunted by memories from his past. Tobias is a fascinating character; there is an air of mystery and perhaps sadness about him.He's a very principled character,a deep thinker, perhaps something of a loner.
There's a lot happening in this book. I don't want to give anything away but there is plenty of suspense and the reader is kept guessing unt
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James Faro joined the Merchant Navy at the age of sixteen, travelling extensively throughout Brazil, North America and the Caribbean. He has lived in many countries including Spain, Portugal, Cyprus, Aden and the Netherlands. He has always retained his fascination with travel and the sea which is reflected in his writing. He has a Post Graduate degree in History from the University of Sussex.