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

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  1,479 Ratings  ·  97 Reviews
KYDD announces a major new voice in naval adventure writing.
Unknown Binding, 448 pages
Published November 1st 2001 by Not Avail (first published January 2001)
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Having read Tyger as part of the LibraryThing Early Reviewers program and been impressed, I wanted to read the whole Kydd series. This one is the first novel concerning Thomas Kydd, press-ganged into the Royal Navy, which is fighting the French--how he gets his start, rises from ignorant landlubber to learning seamanship: to "hand, reef, and steer". He comes to love the seafaring life. Along the way, he has a mentor: Bowyer, who "shows him the ropes" [pun intended] and makes a friend of a member ...more
Aug 11, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sea, read-original
So I wasn't looking for a second O'Brian; stupid to expect a "second" anyone, and this one doesn't invite comparison because it starts from a very different premise.

That premise - having a protagonist to be a forcibly-pressed seaman instead of an officer - was initially the most promising thing about this book. But it needed a really skilful treatment, and didn't get any. There's a good reason why most nautical adventures are focused on officers: they're the ones having the information, making
Aug 31, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  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
I really liked this story and its ability to explain the pains that "pressed man" went through once pressed into the service. The journey from been everything been foreign to been able to understand and preform the duties of a Sailor was different to what I have read in the pasted and loved the idea. The only criticism is that some events in the story just finished and I felt need to go deeper. But all in all I loved it.
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
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
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
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
Mar 18, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sea-stories
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
Oct 07, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, adventure
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
Jan 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I discovered the Thomas Kydd books thanks to my spouse and reamed through the whole set one after the other. If you liked the rousing sea adventures of Patrick O'Brien, you will adore these. The author writes from the experience of service in the Royal Navy and has traveled to all the sites of his stories. The delightful thing about them is they are written from the point of view of Kydd, a young wig maker who is impressed into the Royal Navy in the glorious age of sail. This series is on-going ...more
Sep 01, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An excellent series by Mr. Stockwin who literally learned his ropes at TS Indefatigable, a British seafaring school for boys. Fast moving tales. Well researched and right up there with CS Forester, Patrick O'Brian and Douglass Reeman, aka Alexander Kent.
Magda Kossakowska
Sep 19, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Now I know every line, mast and deck on the ship-of-the-line:-)
Nov 20, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hornblower, starting belowdecks. Kydd is the beginning of a fun and careful seafaring series, and I'm enjoying it. I won't dock it stars for anything.
I wish to rant a bit about its pricing.
Kydd was written in 2001, and the kindle version of the book costs just under $11. The publisher has zero materials cost (I paid for the reader) yet they apparently wish to keep perceived value up or some such idiocy. Well, fine. I paid it. Then book 2 and 3 were just under $10: progress! And I'm enjoying them
Bare Pet
Oct 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm a great fan of naval fiction especially the Napoleonic era. Most of the Kydd series are very well written and engaging. The technical details are in place. They serve the plot well and gives depth to the narrative.
After the various naval carriers from others (midshipman to captain and even admiral) using a foremast jack as protagonist is a unique and original stroke. Kydd's personality evolves nicely and most of the characters have a well developed personality. The novel events have some twi
This book is terrible as a novel - the characters are cardboard, the dialogue is stilted and unnatural, and the plot is jarringly episodic, with mini-stories wrapping up bizarrely fast with no further explanation. But as a manual for 18th century sailing ships and naval life, it's rather good, and the passages describing the physical atmosphere - the sounds, smells, sights, and feel of life aboard a ship of the line in 1793 - are rich and compelling. It's a shame there's this flimsy non-entity o ...more
Aug 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An excellent story. Given that most readers of this genre will be familiar with the more popular authors, this adventure provides a different perspective on the historical events of this period. I'm looking forward to following nautical Kydd's adventures as he rises in both experience and rank in the Navy he so reluctantly was pressed into.
Martin Benkovic
May 30, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Už dlhšie som si hovoril, že by som si mohol prečítať podobný román a konečne som sa k jednému dostal. Príbeh bol síce pomalší, ale kniha sa čítala veľmi dobre a nechýbala jej atmosféra. Keďže séria už má viacero kníh, predpokladám, že pri prvej išlo hlavne o predstavenie hlavného hrdinu. Dúfam len, že vydavateľstvo bude ďalej prekladať aj pokračovania.
Krista Wallace
Jul 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thoroughly enjoyed this story, and I look forward to the next in the series! I wish there were a glossary in the book, though, as there are so many sailing terms and idioms that don't make sense to a lay person!
Richard P
Jul 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great book, great series, reminds me of Sharpe but at Sea. You can't help but want Kydd to succeed
Guy Woolford
Aug 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Takes a while to get used to the old english and naval slang. Otherwise a good read!
Jul 16, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, own
Decent. Will probably read the next book or two. Worth reading if you're a fan of ship and cannon stories.
Sep 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Shoshana Hathaway
Sep 17, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I will happily admit that, for sea stories about the Napoleonic wars, I am thoroughly spoiled, having devoured all the Patrick O’Brien novels. They have set a very high standard indeed, and while this first in series doesn’t even come close, there are things I very much like about it.

For those interested in the age of sail, the British navy, and the historical era in question, this isn’t a bad read at all. What makes it stand out for me is that the author thoroughly describes some actions and p
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
Christopher Taylor
I always enjoy a good sea novel, yet this one truly took me by surprise.

While almost all of these books are about captains or at least some manner of officer, Kydd is taken by a press gang and has to learn the job of being a sailor from scratch. He's no protected Midshipman, he's not even that young.

Stockwyn truly loves the sea and sailing, and his careful research and passion for the topic shows in this book. Instead of a focus on sailing ships from the perspective of the officers and the runn
James King
Jan 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Kydd is a wonderful start to a book series. The characters are believable and engaging, story telling and pacing are first rate, and I can't wait to see Thomas Kydd eventually fight his way to the loftiest ranks of the Admiralty. Stockwin's chosen genre and setting, the Napoleonic Wars, is rather crowded with several series by a number of skilled authors, but he should not feel daunted as Thomas Kydd and his particular friend Nicholas Renzi successfully battle with other contemporary fictional h ...more
Sep 28, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the first of what promises to be another good series of novels chronicling life in the British navy in the era of Tall Ships - during the Napoleonic Wars. In that sense it follows in the footsteps of Forester, O'Brien and Lambdin. However, all those series started with the heroes beginning Naval life as a Midshipman. In this case, the hero, Tom Kydd, is "pressed" into service at the age of 20 and begins life as a landlubber in the fullest sense of the word.

Kidd is fortunate to have a num
Aug 03, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  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
Nov 01, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book has featured for a long time on my recommendations page; so when I saw it on the second hand stall at the market I picked it up. I must say I was thoroughly impressed.
Whilst it may not display, at least in this first book, the depth of character that O'Brien manages to develop in Aubrey and Maturin, it is nevertheless a thoroughly good read - gripping and fast paced.
Thomas Kydd is pressed into service, and quickly undertakes the effort to learn the way of a seaman, eventually at the en
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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 18 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...

Other Books in the Series

Kydd Sea Adventures (1 - 10 of 20 books)
  • Artemis (Kydd Sea Adventures, #2)
  • Seaflower (Kydd Sea Adventures, #3)
  • Mutiny (Kydd Sea Adventures, #4)
  • Quarterdeck (Kydd Sea Adventures, #5)
  • Tenacious (Kydd Sea Adventures, #6)
  • Command (Kydd Sea Adventures, #7)
  • The Admiral's Daughter (Kydd Sea Adventures, #8)
  • The Privateer's Revenge (Kydd Sea Adventures, #9)
  • Invasion (Kydd Sea Adventures, #10)
  • Victory (Kydd Sea Adventures, #11)