Review: The Blast That Tears the Skies by J. D. Davies – Historic Naval Fiction

I was pleased when The Blast That Tears the Skies arrived as it meant I would soon know a lot more about the history of Restoration England through the continuing ‘Journals of Matthew Quinton’.

When you are used to a diet of fiction about the navies of the Napoleonic wars getting a view of a different period when their foundations were being laid is always refreshing. The navies of the 1660’s were very different with courtiers rather than professional sailors making command decisions and as the second Anglo-Dutch war starts the heir to the throne himself is at sea in command and old suspicions between cavaliers and parliamentarians are still rife. Davies weaves all this skillfully into a book which climaxes with the Battle of Lowestoft where over 200 English and Dutch ships engaged in what was the largest naval battle ever fought at the time. This is the first fleet action depicted by the author and it was very well done.

Read More Review: The Blast That Tears the Skies by J. D. Davies – Historic Naval Fiction.

Julian Mackrell Review: This Wonderful Year by Mark E. Benno – Historic Naval Fiction

Georgian HNF with a difference: This Wonderful Year’s principal subject is not a sailor and is never likely to be. Indeed, that Edward Pamprill begins the book as a pampered rich kid and ends it taking his place in the House of Lords, did not fill me with much enthusiasm for reading of his exploits, nor sympathy for his plight. And yet …

… and yet, this is one of the most charming HNF novels I have had the pleasure to read. Benno writes with a fine feel for period detail, concentrating on characterisation while allowing his plot to evolve steadily at a relatively sedate pace, a virtually day-by-day approach that will likely resonate with lovers of Patrick O’Brian. Much of the action takes place ashore, and Pamprill is a landsman, so This Wonderful Year has few naval technicalities; some of his “landsman’s howlers” [eg “the big pole in the middle”] are refreshing and mildly humorous.

via Julian Mackrell Review: This Wonderful Year by Mark E. Benno – Historic Naval Fiction.

The Blast That Tears the Skies (PB) – Historic Naval Fiction

Author J. D. Davies has a new novel which is now available for pre-order, The Blast That Tears the Skies. It will be released in Paperback worldwide on 15 May 20121663: The land is at war, but conspiracies against King Charles II are rife.Captain Matthew Quinton finds himself thrust unexpectedly into the midst of the deadliest of them when he is given command of a vast and ancient man-of-war. Despite contending with scheming ministers of state, a raw, recalcitrant crew and an alleged curse on the ship, Quinton sails against the might of the Dutch fleet.

Read More The Blast That Tears the Skies (PB) – Historic Naval Fiction.

An Interview with B. N. Peacock – Historic Naval Fiction

Historic Naval Fiction is pleased to have obtained an Interview with B. N. Peacock on the release of her new book, the first in The Great War series, A Tainted Dawn.What can you tell us about your new book A Tainted Dawn, without spoiling the plot for the readers?A Tainted Dawn plays on Wordsworths famous quote about the start of the French Revolution:Bliss was it in that dawn to be aliveBut to be young was very heaven!It was the dawn of an age when utopia seemed there for the taking. Equality of all men and freedom were heady stuff, but the old class systems and national rivalries remained very much in place. England and Spain were ready to go to war over trading rights in the Pacific Northwest , with France likely to side with its old ally Spain against its old enemy England. Then there is the private war between aristocratic English Edward and French law student turned revolutionary Louis, with working class English Jemmy caught in between. Simultaneously, the three struggle to define their manhood and come to grips with what man, manhood, and equality mean. In the end, youthful dreams and idealism clash with reality, threatening to taint the dawn of their young lives—with blood.

Read More An Interview with B. N. Peacock – Historic Naval Fiction.

Julian Mackrell Review: The Prodigal by S. K. Keogh – Historic Naval Fiction

With solid plot lines and multi-dimensional characterizations, S K Keogh’s first novel is a definite winner. Set mostly afloat in the Caribbean during the ‘age of sail’ it weaves several threads into an engrossing story that will be satisfying to lovers of historic sail fiction without being unduly technical for a casual reader. The author has created a believable world inhabited by a fascinating, disparate bunch of lead characters who command the reader’s sympathy despite their darker sides.

No real surprises plot-wise perhaps, but it is a good story well told. You can’t have a pirate novel without at least some swash-buckling, but most of the plot is concerned with situation and character development leading to a climactic showdown with a sting in its tail! In my opinion, Keogh has the balance just right and I was so enthralled that I was unprepared for the end, but it has clearly been set up for a sequel. Can’t wait!

Read More Julian Mackrell Review: The Prodigal by S. K. Keogh – Historic Naval Fiction.

A Tainted Dawn (PB) – Historic Naval Fiction

B. N. Peacock has a new book which has just been released worldwide, A Tainted Dawn. The first book in a proposed series set during the Great War (1792-1815), it is available in paperback and ebook versions.

August 1789. The Rights of Man. Liberty. Equality. Idealism. Patriotism. A new age dawns.

And yet, old hostilities persist: England and Spain are on the brink of war. France, allied by treaty with Spain, readies her warships. Three youths – the son of an English carpenter, the son of a naval captain, and the son of a French court tailor – meet in London, a chance encounter that entwines their lives ever after. The English boys find themselves on the same frigate bound for the Caribbean. The Frenchman sails to Trinidad, where he meets an even more zealous Spanish revolutionary. As diplomats in Europe race to avoid conflict, war threatens to explode in the Caribbean, with the three youths pitted against each other.

Will the dawn of the boys’ young manhood remain bright with hope? Or will it become tainted with their countrymen’s spilled blood?

Read More A Tainted Dawn (PB) – Historic Naval Fiction.