Mean Sun is the first book in a new series by Gerry Garibaldi that follows the adventures of Daniel Wren. After he is caught by the press and taken aboard a navy vessel destined for a voyage to the far east he soon finds himself under the watchful eye of the master who takes an interest in his advancement.
The book has a well written and fast paced plot which was hard to put down. The depictions of life at sea and the action were well written and I will certainly look out for the sequel. On a slight negative note the book could do with some editing. There are some obvious errors such as the name of the principal vessel changing at one stage which should have been picked up and officianados of the genre will also spot some more technical instances however on balance they did not affect my enjoyment of the story.
via Review: Mean Sun by Gerry Garibaldi – Historic Naval Fiction.
Song of the Mokihana is one of those interesting books that, whilst about sailing ships, are set in a different time period to the majority. In this case 1914. Set in the Pacific islands of French Polynesia the book is a romantic thriller that explores the tensions in an area which whilst remote from the conflict of the Great War is affected by it.
The schooner Mokihana is captained by Henry Keenan, who is half american half Polynesian, with an american mate and a native crew. It visits the French islands where if finds some shipwrecked germans, including Matildhe Kolbe who also has some Polynesian ancestry. In the dying days of both the age of sail and the war the author has weaved an intricate and gripping plot in which all the characters seem to have their own conflicting agendas from their ancestral and national loyalties.
For those not familiiar with the Islands, Matzenik’s narrative gives you a real feeling for them at this time icluding the social attitudes and mores that existed between the natives, half castes and the various European powers. The author’s descriptions of life aboard the Mokihana will be enjoyed by age of sail enthusiasts but it will also appeal to fans of many genres or those who just enjoy a thoroughly good read.
via Review: Song of the Mokihana by T. D. Matzenik – Historic Naval Fiction.
Nick Robins new book, Scotland and the Sea: The Scottish Dimension in Maritime History, is now available in hardcover in the UK. It will be released on 15 April 2014 in the US.
Scotland’s maritime heritage is a highly significant one, embracing as it does a quite outstanding contribution to Britain’s development both as an empire and as the world’s leading maritime power in the nineteenth century. Scottish engineering, ship-owning and operating, as well as business and entrepreneurial skills, played a major part in the success of the Merchant Navy, while Scottish emigrants took skills to every corner of the world, creating trade and wealth both abroad and at home. In terms of engineering, ‘Clyde-built’ was the Kite Mark for the shipbuilding industry the world over. Scottish shipowners included household names such as Allan, Anchor, Donaldson and Henderson, while Scotsmen were instrumental in founding and, for much of the time, managing Cunard, British India, P & O, Orient, Glen and many other ‘English’ companies. The author tells an exhilarating story of energy and inventiveness, describing the remarkable navigational skills of the highlanders and the technological and business skills of the lowlanders, and relates the early development of the steamship, the impact of emigration, the involvement with exploration and the development of trade routes, and the final flowering of the world’s last great iron sailing ships. And the evidence is still here, in the Cutty Sark, the Denny test tank at Helensburgh, and the Burrel Collection at Pollock, all reminders of a remarkable story.
via Scotland and the Sea (HC) – Historic Naval Fiction.
Ozgur K. Sahin recently released the first book in a new pirate fiction series Brethren of the Spanish Main. The Wrath of Brotherhood it is available in ebook versions.
After learning of his sister’s death at the hands of pirates, successful merchant Captain Roy Toppings sails to the Caribbean on a misguided mission of vengeance against the man who failed to protect her: her Spanish widower, Pablo Francisco.
In the climate of the Restoration-era Caribbean colonies, where scheming and stealth could yield a prize as readily as boldness and firepower, Roy’s vendetta lands him and his small but talented privateer crew in the middle of political intrigue and a deadly invasion in the West Indies as the nations of Europe struggle to consolidate power in anticipation of new monarchs in England and France.
When Spain prepares a strike that could jeopardize all other commercial interests in the Caribbean, Roy must risk losing his chance at vengeance to fight for his nation and his fellow Brethren of the Coast.
via The Wrath of Brotherhood (K) – Historic Naval Fiction.