August 24 , 2010


Thomas Kydd 16


Unputdownable naval action from the master of the sea story - 'In Stockwin's hands the sea story will continue to entrance readers across the world' Guardian

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Victory at the Battle of Trafalgar removed the spectre of invasion and England is now free to seek conquests and colonies in the furthest reaches of the world. Captain Kydd joins an expedition to take Dutch-held Cape Town, a strategic imperative to secure the rich trade-route to India. But even if the British can defeat the enemy and take…

The greatest naval trial in the Georgian period is underway at Portsmouth with the court martial of Sir Home Popham, Captain Sir Thomas Kydd's commanding officer in the doomed occupation of Buenos Aires. Kydd has some sympathy for Popham's unauthorised action but his support for his former commander leaves him athwart some very influential people in the Admiralty.

With his frigate L'Aurore unfit for sea, Kydd is given a commission that some hope will destroy his career. Tyger has recently mutinied but instead of having her company dispersed around the fleet as is customary, the ship is pressed into immediate service in the North Sea. Kydd faces a crew still under some malign influence.

Enemies aboard and on the high seas are just the start of the problem. Soon he will have to take his untested and untrustworthy crew into the Baltic and there they will get entangled with Napoleon's invasion of Prussia. The stakes are desperate, the task seemingly impossible and the French implacable. But the only way for Kydd to avoid disgrace is to gamble his reputation and crew on a crazy mission to snatch a Prussian division out of the jaws of Napoleon's advancing army. Will he return home once more a hero, or himself face a court martial?

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