Alaric Bond Review: Surgeon’s Mate by Linda Collison

Now here is a refreshing change; a well written book that sees our genre from a completely different angle. Many different angles, actually…

The world of the title’s surgeon’s mate is naturally far removed from that of great cabins, commanding officers and quarterdeck conversations. Instead we get the grittiness of the lower deck and orlop; sea wives, petty officers and seamen, while news of the ships position and purpose comes mainly by scuttlebutt and hearsay. The characters and conditions are well drawn, and there is sufficient explanation to keep the narrative alive, without resorting to lengthy descriptive passages that inevitably slow the pace. Nautical detail is also good; you feel yourself in the charge of a competent writer who truly understands the subject and is willing to share.

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