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Conquest [Paperback]

Julian Stockwin

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Book Description

Sept. 20 2011
Victory at the Battle of Trafalgar removed the spectre of invasion and England is now free to seek conquests and colonies in the furthest reaches of the world.

Captain Kydd joins an expedition to take Dutch-held Cape Town, a strategic imperative to secure the rich trade-route to India. But even if the British can defeat the enemy and take possession of the capital, there is still more fighting to be done.

Kydd and his men must defend the fragile colony from attacks by the enemy from all sides, while braving the wild beasts and hostile environment of Africa's vast and savage hinterland.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton (Sept. 20 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1444711970
  • ISBN-13: 978-1444711974
  • Product Dimensions: 23.2 x 15.2 x 2.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 481 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #176,664 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


More historically accurate than the Patrick O'Brien series Royal Navy Sailing Association journal on the KYDD series Another thundering good read for those who love seagoing stories in the Hornblower mould Peterborough Evening Telegraph on TREACHERY This heady adventure blends fact and fiction in rich, authoritative detail. Nautical Magazine on VICTORY Paints a vivid picture Daily Express on KYDD Stockwin's descriptions of the bloody reality of naval combat 200 years ago are memorably vivid Yorkshire Evening Post on VICTORY I was turning the pages almost indecently fast Independent on KYDD A born storyteller and a man with a vivid imagination ... his research is accurate and first class. Flagship on TREACHERY

About the Author

Julian Stockwin was sent at the age of fourteen to Indefatigable, a tough sea-training school. He joined the Royal Navy at fifteen before transferring to the Royal Australian Navy, where he served for eight years in the Far East, Antarctic waters and the South Seas. In Vietnam he saw active service in a carrier task force.

After leaving the Navy (rated Petty Officer), Julian practised as an educational psychologist. He lived for some time in Hong Kong, where he was commissioned into the Royal Naval Reserve. He was awarded the MBE and retired with the rank of Lieutenant Commander. He now lives in Devon with his wife Kathy. More information can be found on his website at

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.5 out of 5 stars  22 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars STOCKWIN'S BEST Oct. 23 2011
By Quarterdeck - Published on
CONQUEST launches a bright new chapter in Captain Thomas Kydd's naval career, as England turns to expansion of her empire in distant and exotic corners of the world after victory at Trafalgar in 1805. This is vintage Julian Stockwin as Kydd--in command of the 32-gun frigate L'Aurore--sails into turbulent seas along the coast of Africa in support of a British expedition whose mission is to capture Cape Town, a step toward establishing a safe seaway to trade-rich India. Set against the impeccably researched history of the period, Kydd's saga continues to unfurl with Stockwin's crisp prose and attention to authenticity, which readers have come to expect. There are adventures aplenty, spliced to the young naval commander's inner growth and evolving relationship with Nicholas Renzi, which keep pages turning.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One of the best yet in this above-average series Dec 31 2011
By Michael K. Smith - Published on
This is the twelfth in the very good series about Thomas Kydd, once a wigmaker in the family business, then a pressed landsman in the Royal Navy, now -- ten years later -- a post captain in the struggle against Napoleon, with powerful people interested in his advancement. The Battle of Trafalgar, which was the focus of Victory, the previous volume, had two immediate effects: It ended the threat of cross-Channel invasion by the French, and it gave Britain uncontested control of the seas. That might sound it left young Capt. Kydd (the pirate spelled his name with an "i," as Tom is often at pains to point out) is left with nothing much to do, but virtual control of the world's oceans also meant that the British Empire could begin expanding rapidly by snapping up enemy colonial possessions. The Dutch are (mostly) reluctant allies of the French and so the Cape Colony, down at the bottom end of Africa, is fair game. It also would be a lovely spot for a Royal Navy station to enhance control of the Indian Ocean and the trade routes to the Far East. Kydd commands one of the two frigates in the rather underpowered flotilla sent to conquer Cape Town and its environs, and the plot concerns his part in the affair, his adventures along the way and after they get there, and his primary role in foiling an attempted French response by arming the inland natives. There's a good deal less wandering about and commenting at length on society this time (a problem in the pacing of certain books in the series), and a good deal more beating to quarters and sneaking up on the enemy in disguise. Even Renzi, whom the author has turned into a general PITA, has a much better role this time, having been drafted as Colonial Secretary by General Baird, the leader of the expedition and the new Governor. Renzi was the only English civilian available with any education, it's true, but he manages to do a pretty good job of it. It might even become a permanent job, but---. (And that's all I'll say about that.) This is one of the best in the series so far. I only wish I knew what finally became of Therese and her guerilla father.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Always enjoy the Kydd Sea Adventures! Oct. 4 2013
By Richard G. Long - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Stockwin books move right along with the adventure and are crisp with detail that portray the story of life at sea under sail.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Conquest by Julian Stockwin Nov. 24 2011
By Tom Stronach - Published on
Conquest: A Kydd Sea Adventure (Kydd Sea Adventures) Mr Stockwin has done it again. I was a soldier so did not get to spend much time at sea. Once, while waiting to join my Regiment in Berlin, and at which time I ended up getting there 24 hours after my suitcase and kitbag (and that was me joining Man's service from Boy's service so my first time at the Regiment.... but that's another story) I had a trip on a destroyer from Edinburgh to Portsmouth. The ship had an association with my Regiment, as inter service organisations seem to have, a bit like towns in different countries twinning is about the nearest simile I can draw for you. I have also been on lots of ferries from Dover to Calais and from Portsmouth/Plymouth to Bilbao. And, finally a little bit of tacking about in small sailing dinghy's.

So, what has Mr Stockwin done again, I hear you ask? Well, even if you have never been near the sea reading a Kydd novel by him has a uniqueness about it that is so descriptive, that you can almost taste the salt in your mouth and the spray on your face as you plunge through the waves aboard the L'Aurore captained and crewed by the utterly convincing characters at the helm and in the rigging of this ship. Whether it be in the English Channel or rounding the Cape into the Indian Ocean you can feel the surge of the vessel as she is in full sail into the next adventure or chapter, it really is that good, and that is what you want from a book. A book is something more than a collection of the words contained within the covers, a book is a device unlike any other whether it be TV or Movie or Video or Comic.

A book is a means by which an author presents to you the reader, his or her words in a way that allows you to visualise in your minds eye every detail of every character of every scene presented in full mind blowing technicolour imagery that only the imagination can present....always much more satisfying than on screen, to my mind at least.

Julian Stockwin does this so skilfully in the Kydd series and this is clearly down to the research he puts into each book in developing these quasi historical dramas. Fiction is cleverly interwoven with past reality and we find that Kydd and the crew of L'Aurore, still recovering from their own trials at the Battle of Trafalgar are tasked with the honour of bearing the body of Admiral Lord Nelson back to London for his state funeral, Having been involved in the greatest naval battle of all time you would think that Stockwin would cut them a break with some shore leave, but no, he is a hard taskmaster and no sooner is the body delivered to Greenwich and they are back on the outgoing tide back down the Thames and into the open sea, as fast as they can be re-supplied.

The Action moves onto Maderia where Kydd is attached a a squadron bound for Africa with Army units with orders to relieve the Dutch of their possession of the Cape and surrounding environs and bring it into the Empire. Kydd is attached to Commanding General's staff on land for the first battles and is horrified by the carnage that he sees and that we feel as we also read the description of what takes place, and we like him are praying for relief by being allowed back to OUR ship.

Having won a decisive but unexpected victory, while the main opposing forces carry out a tactical withdrawal , well that's what British Army commanders call them, but if you were a grunt like me the shorter version was usually just a retreat, in land, the commander left in charge of the Cape capitulates and hands the town and fort over to the British. Kydd is reunited with his ship but arranges for dear Renzi to then become attached to the Commanding General who has become the 'New' Governor and in need of a 'Colonial Secretary'. If you haven't read any of the Kydd novels (why not?) you will understand the sublime happiness that this unexpected turn of events gives to the reader to see poor Nicholas so elevated, but you will need to read the previous books to get that feeling you get where Nicholas Renzi is concerned (sometimes you just want to give him a kick in the pants to get him motivated, but you do feel for him).

So, the race is on by the British to secure their new holdings and once again Kydd is in the mix, fighting the sea and the French to preserve this new part of Empire and all I can say is if you haven't read any of Julian Stockwin's novels you really are missing out. They are both entertaining and educating. Did you know that Royal Navy ships of old, for example, required both a Captain and a Sailing Master. The ship could not sail without the latter who was responsible for navigation, not a function that the Captain was expected to carry out, well, neither did I until I started reading Mr Stockwin, so there you go, have a thoroughly enjoyable read and education for the price of one, what more can be had from a good historical drama............
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as...... Oct. 29 2011
By Sidney B. Brinckerhoff - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I have been an avid follower of Kydd but this volume was a disappointment. The setting was interesting, the historical contact was new to me but Kydd's adventures seemed "same old" and full of the fortuitous events that seemed rather contrived.

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