Sean Thomas Russell: A Battle Won

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A ship s parson set on undermining his command and a deadly influenza outbreak in addition to winter gales the incompetent convoy commander and French cruisers out to attack the convoyThe real action begins when Hayden delivers the Themis to Hood who temporarily leaves Hayden in the command of the frigate and then dispatches him on a mission to Corsica where the British are helping the Corsicans drive out the FrenchWhat makes A Battle Won so absorbing is simply that Russell writes exceptionally well It is easy to slip into and be enveloped by the book The scenes both on shipboard and in Corsica are well researched and the characters consistently both vivid and believable It is to use the clich a real page turner and sets us up for the next book in the series where Captain Hayden must again overcome the unfairness and ill fortune that blocks the advancement that he so richly deservesThe only negative thing I can say about the book is also a positive depending on your perspective Captain Hayden and his exploits fit perfectly into the archetype of the historical naval fiction genre He is a young and talented officer from a good background yet held back by family history He has enemies than allies in the Admiralty yet ultimately rises in the rank through sheer ability This brief bio applies to Charles Hayden yet could also be applied to Jack Aubrey Richard Bolitho Horatio Hornblower and perhaps a score of others What makes A Battle Won distinctive is Russell s story telling While reading the book I felt at home in comfortable surroundings While the territory is familiar it still seems fresh and originalMy one recurring complaint with much of traditional naval fiction is that it can be chronically episodic Russell succeeds in avoiding this in A Battle Won The major sections of the book separated by diverting intermissions end up feeling all part of the whole Very nicely doneA Battle Won will be savored by fans of historical naval fiction and will be a delight for those new to the genre Highly recommended A age of sail fiction I adore Captain Hayden He is a wolf at sea and a lamb on land an officer and a gentleman a good man who is constantly beset by the worst luck but somehow he always prevails So far I ust want to hug him at every turn lol The author is a master of setting up these complex situations that leave you on the edge of your seat until the final word Past that even for this book leaves you on a cliffy that will have you scrambling to buy 3 Well done PNow that I finally know all their names the crew has really grown on me too Young Master Wickham the sassy Hawthorne grumpy but so capable Mr Bathe the parson with no delusions Mr Smosh and the unlikely hero young Mr Gould So many scenes had me in stitches laughing one minute and then suddenly on tenterhooks againAlso Miss Henrietta is lovely and I m holding my breath as to she and Hayden s possible engagement I see there are 4 of these books and I do hope there will be someday I m going to commit Age of Sail blasphemy and admit that I like these books even better than O Brian O Well this has been a disappointment I absolutely loved the first book in this series and was expecting of the same in its seuel But I have been let down by the tack this story took I never was a fan of the storyline into Haydn s personal life and especially his romantic intentions Even in the first book I found it an awkward portion of the book and this installment An Immigration History Of Britain just makes it worse On top of that are the many parts of the story thatust drag on interminably The Shakespeare play to start while amusing was Crime and Society in Twentieth-Century England just a ploy to make Haydn s romantic life seem less forgettable and only succeeded in making the non naval section of the tale far too long The golf game for the next a strange interlude that left me thinking the author had conjured up some interesting facts about golfing and was determined to put them in the story no matter how inappropriate Also moving the 18 pounders did this seriously have to take 60 pages And the French women componentust seems forced in for added drama Other than that I have ust a couple irritating items Haydn doesn t need to be angry all the time I need him to act like a master and commander that really wants to be a captain and isn t always lipping off his superiors And since when does the captain discuss every decision with his officers it s too surreal to have an 18th century British captain acting like his ship is a democracy I wouldn t normally be so critical but I was really looking forward to this book and I was a bit upset Now this may be a lot of negative but it was not really that large a portion of the story and the rest was really good Everything you would expect from naval fiction is there and it s good but the annoying bits are enough to take this down to a 3 star. Ica where his captaincy and military skill are stretched to their utmost as he finds himself at the vanguard of this brutal clash of empires.

Hor flexes his writing muscles and incorporates real history into his story This always adds realism to HF Looking forward to reading the rest of the series A Battle Won by Sean Thomas Russell is the second novel depicting Charles Hayden aboard frigate Themis Much of the book is based on actual historical events which always makes for a better reading in my books even when some actual historical figures have had to give way to fictional heroes filling their shoesOverall I found this novel even engaging than I did the first one and I d be happy to recommend this to any fan of Napoleonic naval fiction It is not uite up there with Patrick O Brian s AubreyMaturin novels which I d describe as Literature with capital L but the naval atmosphere and adventure is still very tangible on every pageThe only downside of the book to me was a longish description of a golf match that seemed to stop the progress of the story for an entire chapter and seemed a little bit tagged on for homour s sake I m sad to say I ended up being slightly disappointed by this seuel to the first work in the series Under Enemy Colours There is no doubt that this series can achieve great moments When this book set its mind to it it can be amazingly atmospheric and engaging For example there is a chapter set on a slowly sinking frigate and the writing during that chapter was so captivatingly eerily it had me shivering in horror It s clearly my favourite and one of the most powerful parts of the bookSadly A Battle Won suffers from the same problems as its predecessor The in my eyes worst offense is that most of its characters have so little to offer apart from the basic Age of Sail literature archetypes they are based on The clich d characters were already the biggest annoyance in the first book and I dearly hoped this would improve with the following volume but it was simply not the case Plus I felt like this book simply repeated a lot of the same character clich s we already encountered in the first one Pool is the new Harte and Saint Denis is the new Landry And the worst thing is they both represent two of my most hated character clich s the haughty superior blind to his own inadeuacy who ust can t see the talents and merits of the protagonist for what they are And the incompetent Mr. Fullswing Vol. 7 jealous subordinate who might go through something of a change for the better but will die for his past sins before he can become a character in his or her own right Characters that showed promise in the first book like Wickham or Archer are underused in this book and appear even less three dimensional than in the first volume of the series This is a sad state of affairs Actually the only character I was really happy this time around was Hawthorne Even the new middy Gould isust too good to be true And he is certainly worldwise and wellspoken by the end of the book than I will believe of a character that young even considering the age into which he was born and grew up in So what about our hero I m said to say it but I find Hayden mostly boring I couldn t bring myself to care much about his courtship of his love interest in the first couple of chapters And I did not really feel drawn in enough by him to empathise with his troubles at see The only part of his personal Civil-military Relations In Pakistan journey and the complications that go with it I truly got invested in where the developements of the last couple of chapters because the hero finding himself involved in that kind of fraud is something I have not read yet within the genre So yes damnit I thought I was ready to abandon this series after two books but I guess I ll stick around for the solution of that plot arc And who knows The parts of this series that so far I ve had the most trouble with might still improve And it s not as if this book had not shown great promise in many parts Theust released A Battle Won by S Thomas Russell is classic nautical fiction vivid fast paced and full of drama both on sea and land Master and Commander Charles Hayden is a gifted naval commander with extremely bad luck In the previous book Under Enemy Colors he found himself serving aboard HMS Themis a frigate with a tyrannical captain and a mutinous crew Now in A Battle Won instead of being allowed to take command of his own ship Hayden is reassigned back to the Themis a ship with such a bad reputation that no captain wants the commandHayden is a ob captain assigned to deliver the ship to Admiral Hood in the Mediterranean where it is expected that a new captain will be assigned Captain Hayden and the Themis are also ordered to help guard a convey of merchant ships across the Bay of Biscay in the winter under the command of an incompetent convoy commander with a very low opinion of Hayden based solely on the poor reputation of the mutiny ship Themis On the voyage Hayden must deal with. S given orders to return to the ill fated HMS Themis as the British fight the French for control of the strategically located island of Cors.

Ripping good story about the HMS Juno s escape from Toulon Also excellent description of hoisting 4000 pound guns up the Corsican mountainsAbsolutely stupid IMHO golf interludebut I don t like golf I know it s a bit of a cliche these days to call someone writing in this genre an heir to Patrick O Brian but I think Sean Thomas Russell deserves this epithet at least a little as he is developing these characters nicely into what I hope will be a long series of Charles Hayden books Commissioned again with temporary command of the frigate HMS Themis a ship no post captain wants because of its mutinous history as depicted in the events of Under Enemy Colours Charles Hayden and his familiar Themis crew oin other Royal Navy ships protecting a convoy bound for Gibraltar to supply Admiral Hood s fleet On the way they encounter enemy action and foul weather whilst Hayden must deal with unjustified suspicion and hostility from those in command of the other RN ships in the convoyThe action also takes in skirmishes with the enemy in Toulon along with an extended scene set on Corsica as Hayden works with the Army to support independence efforts there led by General Paoli This was a very enjoyable read and Russell does a great ob describing sea life and battle engagements with all their uplifting moments and gory afflictions whilst the suite of characters created leave room for further development in future stories Also Russell doesn t go into too much detail describing the technicalities of sailing in the way Patrick O Brian did Whilst I enjoyed all the AubreyMaturin series immensely it was sometimes hard going Russell still used the authentic words and names from the period to describe ship board actions but never overwhelming the readerThe only criticism was the length of the story devoted to actions on Corsica and the painstaking preparations put in place by Hayden et al to support the Army s plans Outside of getting the fact it was almost an impossible task being undertaken it was nonetheless difficult getting a grip on the landscape being described I found myself longing for Hayden to get himself back on the uarterdeckOverall a book that had me looking forward to my daily commute if only to give me dedicated time to dive back into the 1790s and one when finished left me in eager anticipation for another instalment Great REad ReviewI already knew that Sean Thomas Russell could write what I was surprised about again was the differing nature of the stories with the story this truly was a multi layered book Normally you will have plots and sub plots in a book and you will have threads that pull together at points in the book like fine stitching and this book in most respects was the same and yet different On the one hand you have the blistering action the harsh reality of nature on the high seas and the comradeship of those on board shipWithout giving any plot away I have to say that the scenes written around the ship wreck are among the most harrowing I have read giving the reader a real sense of the danger the fear the heroics the cold and the power of nature truly a great section of the bookI had thought that Julian Stockwin was the Master of this part of the Historical fiction genre but I m revisiting that opinion after this book it seems he has some serious competitionI very much recommend this book it not all balls out action it has heart soul and passion as well as action danger and heroicsParm An exciting 4 Star Adventure Another wonderful entry into the saga of Captain Charles Hayden This second book in the series takes our hero back onto the vessel Themis the location of adventure and mutiny the first time around Still without an official posting as a Captain Charles Hayden is posted to the ship to take a convoy across the waters too late in the season The trip is filled with excitement Several battles and pestilence aboard ship in the convoy account for the excitement of the first 23 of the book The last third of the book the Author takes on real historical events Specifically Admiral Hoods delegation to Corsica We are introduced to several real characters from History Overall the book provides plenty of excitement while our hero deals with two different adventuresAs the second book in a series A Battle Won is written like most seuels There is some repetition in the most interesting plot devices from the first book Fortunately there was sufficient difference to keep the story fresh This installment does differ from the first in a couple of ways My only real issue with the book is when the story takes place on dry land A significant portion of the story takes place in Corsica During this period the book slowed as writing was not as sharp as the portions that take place aboard the ship Overall an excellent addition to the series The aut. A thrilling story of nautical warfare Kirkus Reviews from the author of Under Enemy Colors Winter 1793 Master and Commander Charles Hayden

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