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Victory [Hardcover]

Julian Stockwin
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

June 24 2010
Commander Thomas Kydd is eager to play his part in thwarting Bonaparte's plans for the invasion of England. Joining Admiral Nelson's command, Kydd and his ship soon find themselves at the heart of the action that leads up to the famous clash of the mighty British and French fleets at Trafalgar. Kydd's journey takes him from false sightings of the enemy and dramatic chases across the Atlantic, to the bloody annihilation of the enemy during the actual battle, and the heroic aftermath. This is Kydd's most important adventure so far, and the most thrilling - the description of Trafalgar itself reads as freshly as though it happened yesterday, and Stockwin's trademark rich historical detail and heart-pounding action combine to bring the life the greatest sea battle in history.

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'Well-written mixture of high-seas adventure and character-based drama ... impossible not to enjoy' -- Booklist 'Elegantly plotted ... the writing has the power of a broadside at close range.' -- Oxford Times 'More historically accurate than the Patrick O'Brien series' -- Royal Navy Sailing Association journal on the KYDD series 'This latest book is as fresh as the first to be published ... the characters have matured as the tales unfolded and each story adds a new layer of complexity ... a fictional tale that takes forward the careers of his two heroes in such a natural way that they feel to be a genuine part of history, interacting with the real story of Nelson, Trafalgar and Victory.' -- Firetrench 'The book doesn't disappoint. Blended with fact and fiction, it is written with authoritative detail by a gifted storyteller who is passionate about the Great Age of Sail.' -- Western Morning News 'This heady adventure blends fact and fiction in rich, authoritative detail. The author closely follows historical record, taking readers into the world-defining events of 1805.' -- Nautical Magazine 'The full-blooded seagoing adventures of Commander Thomas Kydd reach another thrilling chapter as our hero's ship joins Admiral Nelson's fleet in a determined move to thwart Bonaparte's plans for the invasion of England.' -- Peterborough Evening Telegraph 'The false sightings of the enemy fleet, Nelson's dramatic chase across the Atlantic to the Caribbean and the final confrontation at Trafalgar are all expertly described. Stockwin's descriptions of the bloody reality of naval combat 200 years ago are memorably vivid, and reveal a profound respect for the seamen who were willing to sacrifice their lives to help save their country.' -- Yorkshire Evening Post 'I was turning the pages almost indecently fast' -- Independent on KYDD 'Another thundering good read for those who love seagoing stories in the Hornblower mould' -- Peterborough Evening Telegraph on TREACHERY 'Another ripping yarn' -- Good Book Guide on TREACHERY 'Stockwin paints a vivid picture of life aboard the mighty ship-of-the-line...the harsh naval discipline, the rancid food, and the skill of the common sailor are all skilfully evoked.' -- Daily Express on KYDD 'Stockwin is a born storyteller and a man with a vivid imagination. Importantly, his research is accurate and first class.' -- Flagship on TREACHERY 'You'll live life at sea and in those times throughout this novel. Much has been written about the Battle of Trafalgar. Much has been said about Lord Nelson. Be there, meet him, in the pages of VICTORY.' -- Booksville

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 www.JulianStockwin.com.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Destined to be an oft' read favourite! Sept. 29 2010
Ahoy Shipmates! In this latest Kydd tale Julian Stockwin builds upon his character development and understanding of the era to produce a wonderful and gripping story. The first three chapters take us through a journey of loss, despair and elation that captures the attention. The saga unfolds and leads the reader to Trafalgar with an excitement and uncertainty, even though we know the historical outcome of the battle, we read with anticipation it's description.

I found my first Kydd novel (Seaflower) in a bargain bin at a major book seller. I was hooked quickly and eagerly await each new edition. There is a wonderful newsletter for fans by the Bosun, can be found on Julian's website.

This novel can be read by itself, a smashing good tale as it were, however, if one follows through the series there is a great deal waiting for the reader to engage with and enjoy.

Well done Julian. Keep writing!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
When I 'sign on' to a book series, three factors must satisfy me: First, believability/accuracy. Second, excitement. Third, consistency/continuity. In a series, I find the third factor the most important. Consistency in a book series for me, means consistently good writing throughout the WHOLE series. Julian Stockwin has achieved this in his ten Thomas Kydd books, not an easy task to succeed at. Stockwin is successful in the consistency department because of his in-depth research, his unique choice of lead character and his obvious love of this genre.

I most heartily commend Julian Stockwin and recommend his Thomas Kydd series to you.


James (Jim) Parker
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Victory Sept. 18 2011
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I have read every book that Julian Stockwin has written. I have yet to be disappointed. Brilliant writer.Second to none.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  34 reviews
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars VICTORY FROM THE MASTER Sept. 14 2010
By Quarterdeck - Published on Amazon.com
VICTORY is Julian's Stockwin's best yet in a masterful series that improves with each succeeding title. The author's latest triumph follows Thomas Kydd through a series of personal and professional peaks and valleys en route to a new command in Nelson's fleet and ultimately the climatic Battle of Trafalgar. The pace never slows from the first to the last page, as England faces the real possibility of invasion from across the Channel. Kydd's flawed, human qualities continue to shape his character among his friends and family even as his star as an officer in the King's Service ascends. The unpredictable intrigue between Nicholas Renzi and Cecilia, Tom's sister, adds considerable interest. Midshipman Charles Bowden, once a Kydd protege aboard 'Teazer', affords a uniquely intimate view of the Trafalgar campaign from aboard Nelson's celebrated flagship, HMS 'Victory'. The behind-the-scenes events leading up to the battle are related in Julian Stockwin's inimitable fashion, including a virtual tour of 'Victory' allowing armchair sailors to step aboard in the weeks preceding the fateful encounter. Naval fiction buffs will enjoy Stockwin's attention to detail, especially as it relates to seamanship and the internal workings of a man of war. This extraordinary book will be read and re-read!
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Vastly Entertaining and Edifying Sept. 22 2010
By James Sheire - Published on Amazon.com
Julian Stockwin in this latest installment of the thrilling Thomas Kydd series at last brings us to the epic Napoleonic era Battle of Trafalgar, the most momentous clash of the great age of fighting sail. Stockwin puts Kydd right in the action among Admiral Horatio Nelson's desperate chase of French Admiral Villeneuve across the Atlantic and back and finally to the momentous battle that changed the course of history. In an example of how a series such as this entertains and edifies, Stockwin the expert provides this amateur reader a fine naval history lesson in placing Kydd the Frigate Captain in his proper role - first of providing his Commander in Chief with intelligence on the enemy's movements (as Stockwin has Nelson himself explain to Kydd) that brings the large line-of-battleships into action, then standing off in a support role. Kydd views the action from a distance, much as we the reader view it from the long gulf of history. Stockwin puts us into the center of action on board H.M.S. Victory as well, a vivid description of the horror of the battle, the exultation of triumph, and the tragedy of Nelson's death at the moment of victory.

On a side note, I'm puzzled at the Publisher's Weekly review above that complained of the seemingly slow pace leading up to battle - perhaps completely missing the point that, like a game of chess, a long period of tense but exciting maneuvering for advantage precedes the eventual clash, another fine example of Stockwin teaching the reader something of naval strategy in the correct historic context of the Battle of Trafalgar. Kydd did not have an iPhone when learning of the French fleet's escape - instead having to "crack on" furiously back to the fleet, rowing madly in his gig to the flagship, then dashing up the side to bring news to the eager Nelson waiting on deck, the 1800's equivalent of a text message. For the fan of fine historic fiction and naval adventure, including the fans of Patrick O'Brian, David Donachie, C.S. Forester, and others, buy this book today.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Land Lubber's Review Sept. 24 2010
By Blockhead - Published on Amazon.com
Julian Stockwin's Victory really punches up British history. The smoothness of the writing and the vivid descriptions make the reader feel as if one is watching "live action footage" - but with words. I found the author adroitly worked in nautical explanations so smoothly I wasn't frustrated or blocked from following the story line. It's written from the former ordinary seaman, Thomas Kydd's point of view, not from the aristrocacy or from a history teacher's dry writings. Stockwin does a great job of pulling empathy out of the reader. His analogies are strong. It's easy to understand the emotional and social environment.
If you have time, start reading the first of Stockwin's books about Kydd. It will both enrich your understanding and increase your enjoyment of this book as you read of the culmination of Kydd's career with Lord Nelson during the Napoleonic wars.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Where's our Kydd? Sept. 21 2012
By David Wilkin - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Stockwin doesn't disappoint, but things are getting long winded for some of his characters.

We certainly have exhausted our heroes side kick, Nicholas at this stage. Before he was a guide, but bow he seems as useless as a jellyfish. His classical learning helps at one point, but his angst ridden presence just takes up too much space. Certainly time to either make use of him, or get rid of him.

We spend so much time with the secondary sidekick, and Nelson, that we have little development of our hero, despite his getting made Post Captain and a frigate. This should be a great focus on him, as well as his POV of watching Trafalgar unfold.

Instead Stockwin is proud of his plot device, putting a former midshipman of Kydd's into Victory and watching some of the main action from there. I am not sure that this works. Kydd is part of the squadron of the great Admiral. That is more than enough, though their are moments portrayed with this plot device that are unique.

Still, since we do not see the battle through the eyes of our series hero, the entirety feels as if this is a transition book. A book that Stockwin needed to tackle because Trafalgar is essential to the saving of England. I am not of the belief that everything was as dire as Stockwin builds on, in his private meetings with a dying Pitt, and other vignettes we see.

But as a whole, the sense of urgency in which Trafalgar was needed to be fought is conveyed. Just wish we had seen it through more of Kydd's POV.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Trafalgar Insight Oct. 20 2010
By OldSaltMC - Published on Amazon.com
Victory by Julian Stockwin

Just in time for the 205th anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar, that pivotal battle to protect Britain from a Napoleonic invasion, author Julian Stockwin has released the latest (11th ) in his series of Kydd sea novels. In the great tradition of Mr. Midshipman Easy, Horatio Hornblower, and Jack /Aubrey Maturin, Thomas Paine Kydd sheds yet another light on the events (both real and fictional) leading up to Trafalgar itself. (Parenthetically, he also points out the role Americans played as officers in the Royal Navy.)

By skillfully alternating views of these events from the perspective of different participants -- Kydd himself, a young midshipman under his command, and occasionally a member of the lower deck or one of the other officers -- the reader is given a very inclusive picture of the situation: Strategic and logistical concerns of the Admiralty and of the fleet commander (Admiral Nelson); tactical and personnel concerns at the shipboard level; and snapshots of daily life for the crew both during daily routine and in battle. Also seen is some of the shoreside politics of the time, and the truly desperate straits in which Britain found herself.

Both the excitement and the utter horror of battle at sea are well portrayed, and the unbelievable heroism and stoicism of early 19th century navies becomes plain.

Julian Stockwin brings to his books his own career in the modern Royal Navy and Royal Australian Navy, along with a passion for history, for the sea, and for accuracy of detail. Fortunately, he is also a wonderful writer who keeps the story foremost. Victory is well worth a read.
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