In the Hour of Victory (HC) – Historic Naval Fiction

A new book by Sam Willis, In the Hour of Victory: The Royal Navy at War in the Age of Nelson, will be released in hardcover worldwide on 1 February 2013.

Between 1794 and 1815 the Royal Navy repeatedly crushed her enemies at sea in a period of military dominance that equals any in history. When Napoleon eventually died in exile, the Lords of the Admiralty ordered that the original battle dispatches from the seven major fleet battles in the period – The Glorious First of June (1794), St Vincent (1797), Camperdown (1797), The Nile (1798), Copenhagen (1801), Trafalgar (1805) and San Domingo (1806) – should be gathered together and presented to the Nation. These letters, written by Britain’s Admirals, Captains, Surgeons and Boatswains and sent back home as updates in the midst of these conflicts, were bound in an immense volume, to be preserved and admired as a jewel of British history. Sam Willis stumbled across the volume quite by chance in 2010 languishing in the bowels of the British Library. Now we can rediscover this treasure of world history, and hear once more the voices of the officers describing the naval triumphs that made Britain great. Cogently introduced by a naval historian at the height of his powers, In the Hour of Victory tells their story.

via In the Hour of Victory (HC) – Historic Naval Fiction.

Treason’s Tide (PB) – Historic Naval Fiction

The second book in Robert Wilton’s series about the Comptrollerate-General for Scrutiny and Survey, Treason’s Tide, will be released worldwide in paperback on 1 February 2013.

July 1805: Napoleon’s army masses across the Channel – Britain is within hours of invasion and defeat. Only one thing stands in the way – an obscure government bureau of murky origins and shadowy purpose: The Comptrollerate General for Scrutiny and Survey. And, rescued from a shipwreck, his past erased, Tom Roscarrock is their newest agent. In England, the man who recruited Roscarrock has disappeared, his agents are turning up dead, and reports of a secret French fleet are panicking the authorities. In France, a plan is underway to shatter the last of England’s stability. Behind the clash of fleets and armies, there lies a secret world of intrigue, deception, treachery and violence – and Roscarrock is about to be thrown into it headfirst.

via Treason’s Tide (PB) – Historic Naval Fiction.

Navy Records Online

If you are interested in naval history, Navy Records Online is now live.

It is “an ever-expanding online archive of miscellaneous British naval records and is the internet publishing arm of the Navy Records Society (est. 1893).”

For more information see Navy Records Online.

Review: Lewrie and the Hogsheads by Dewey Lambdin – Historic Naval Fiction

Lewrie and the Hogsheads is a novella in which news that a Spanish privateer has taken an American merchant ship gives Lewrie the opportunity to escape the boredom of port and take his smaller ships hunting. He has a strong feeling that all is not what it seems and the narrative unfolds the strategy to uncover the mystery.

As a novella it’s fairly short but it is well written and gives the reader the full Lewrie experience. This is particularly useful as with 19 books in the series it can be daunting and expensive to start a new series. The ebook also includes the first two chapters of the latest full book, Hostile Shores, and having read that you will be off to purchase the full book.

If you have not yet purchased an e-reader and still want a taster of Lewrie a brief excerpt of the novella is available on the book description page.

The novella is highly recommended.

via Review: Lewrie and the Hogsheads by Dewey Lambdin – Historic Naval Fiction.

Review: First Voyage by David Healey – Historic Naval Fiction

First Voyage is the first book in a new series, called The Sea Lord Chronicles, which follows young Alexander Hope as he joins his first ship, His Majesty’s Frigate Resolution, sailing for a patrol in the channel during the war against Napoleon.

The novel has two main fantasy elements which distinguish it from a normal ‘follow the career’ series.  Firstly the ships have an ‘air wing’ in the form of gryphon’s. Something similar has been tried before but Healey has put much more emphasis on the naval aspect and for the dedicated HNF fan it is a much better read. One or two terms used may tend to grate a bit to the purist but it is an alternate reality so some differences should be expected.

The second difference is that Hope is a Sea Lord, one who has the ability to manipulate the actions of water. At the start of the novel he does not know he has inherited the ability from a famous ancestor and the narrative follows his growing awareness of the power he possesses and it’s implications for his shipmates and country.

This was a good, well paced novel which brought the various plot aspects together well and I look forward to reading more of Hope’s adventures. Recommended.

via Review: First Voyage by David Healey – Historic Naval Fiction.

Review: Barbary Slave by Robert Evans – Historic Naval Fiction

Barbary Slave follows the adventures of American sailor James Cathcart as his ship is taken by Barbary pirates and he spends the following eleven years as a slave of the Dey of Algiers while American politicians refuse to pay ransom.

The book is largely set ashore as Cathcart works his way through the slave hierarchy and his character is used to explore the interaction between Christian slaves and their Muslim captors both at the local level and in international diplomacy. It also brings out the internal tensions in the region between the Turks and the various Arab factions.

In reading age of sail fiction you frequently come across sections about the Barbary pirates and whilst there is little sea action in the book, this is to some extent it’s attraction as I enjoyed the insight this detailed study of the realities of both life ashore as a slave and of the situation from the point of view from the Dey of Algiers gave me.

The book had good characterisations and the various aspects of the plot were brought together in a well written and well paced narrative that was good to read. Recommended.

via Review: Barbary Slave by Robert Evans – Historic Naval Fiction.

A Baltic Affair (PB/K) – Historic Naval Fiction

Author Patrick G. Cox recently released a new novel, A Baltic Affair, which is available in paperback worldwide and foor download on Kindle.

Captain Petroc Gray, commander of the ship-rigged sloop of war, HMS Kestrel, is drawn into diplomacy, intrigue, and espionage when he rescues the Freiherr von Dieffenbach and his family off the island of Rügen in the Baltic.

The Freiherr is an important and valuable connection in the struggle to beat the Napoleonic Continental blockade of British trade, and his daughter, Silke, is a delightful young woman with a quick wit, brilliant intelligence, and a keen eye for observing the events unfolding around them.

Read Nore A Baltic Affair (PB/K) – Historic Naval Fiction.