Master and Commander Charles Hayden returns in the sequel to the international best seller Under Enemy Colors.
Winter, 1793—the Reign of Terror rips through revolutionary France. In Plymouth, England, Master and Commander Charles Hayden is given orders to return to the ill-fated HMS Themis as the British fight the French for control of thestrategically located island of Corsica. But within hours out of port, Hayden’s uncanny knack for attracting the attention of the French navy sees the Themis thrown back into action. When she lands in Corsica, and her men join forces with native insurgents, Hayden finds himself at the vanguard of a brutal clash of empires.
©2010 Sean Russell (P)2010 W. F. Howes Ltd
This was a solid Napoleonic adventure story, but it lacked much of the strength and gusto of the first book Under Enemy Colors, which had more powerful characterization and better overall cohesion. But, I like Charles Hayden. I'll follow him here and through to the next books when they come.
Having finished all of the Horatio Hornblower novels (by C.S. Forester), I stumbled on S. Thomsa Russell's books on Charles Hayden. I liked the story and the characters in this book. It's well written and impossible to put down. I will be awaiting his next novel.
This is one the best I have heard. It is amazing that a contemporary author could know so much about these old battle ships. The detail is awesome. Make you feel like you're right there on the deck and in the middle of the battle.
Every character different and spot on! Makes for total emersion.
The story by S. Thomas Russell is very well done. I listened to his first in the series, Under Enemy Colors with little expectation. I found it in a used-book store or I probably wouldn't have invested in it. This is not a genre that I normally listen to, but I loved it. A Battle Won is a superb follow up story. For story telling and character development, I put S. Thomas Russell with Jim Butcher and WEB Griffin, both excellent writers.
The lead character as well as the Marine Leftennant, Hawthorne.
Excellent with individual characters voicing and does a wonderful job with flow and pace.
The story, plot, and unexpected twist in the last chapters made A Battle Won very enjoyable and entertaining. It was a great ride.
I enjoyed A Battle Won as much as the first book in the series if not more. The one thing that was a bit of a distraction was that for some reason, they changed the narrator from the first book. The first book is narrated by Simon Vance, while this book is narrated by Nick Boulton. It's not that Mr. Boulton does a bad job of it, but I was already acclimated to the characters as portrayed by Mr. Vance. Some points in this book (particularly the first chapters) Mr. Boulton's rendition seems lethargic at places. I found myself having to rewind more often than usual as my mind drifted from the book. This is due to the narration rather than the book itself, which I found most entertaining.
I've read O'Brian, Forester, Kent, and others. I was excited after listening to the first book, thinking I'd found another worthwhile series of this genre. The problem is that Simon Vance reads the 1st book, and you just can't beat Vance, my very favorite. Sadly, that's the only one of the series that he does, and Boulton's characters are flat and clumsy in comparison, simply not engaging. I suspect that the story is not as good either, but its difficult to tell that its not all in the performance. If I continue with the series, I will most definitely read rather than listen.
A word to the wise. There are two wandering chapters, FILLERS, to make the book apparantly long enough for the NEW publisher or accomplish some other need. This is not the same publisher, at least as expressed in the audio, as Under Enemy Colors. Nick Boulton is not as good as Mr. Simon, the original narrator. The two terribly out of place chapters have to do with a incredibly long, please stop, story about a golf match in Gilbrator (in the late 1700's as is described by the author as the time period in the prologue of Under Enemy Colors) during the middle of a voyage and England's war with France. The other is a night on the town in London at theater and a altered version of Romeo & Juliet. Both of these wanderings, other than as filler, seem to be present to show the authors knowledge on the subjects. I have read the 3 reviews on book 3, ah book 4, as described in Audible (it apprears book 3 under a different name was released outside the US but is identical to 4) and one review alleges the same wanderings in book "4". I would call foul that the publisher has convinced the author to generate filler material at potential outrage to the reader. Most publishers I feel would not have allowed this filler. BUT you will most likely still want to hear the story and buy book 4 as I have, since A Battle Won was still an enjoyable listen.
The Under Enemy Colors prologue substantially is begging your pardon that it is a novel and not a recount of history HENCE the addition of "A Novel" to the title of A Battle Won. It would appear Mr. Russell took a beating from the historical crowd and feels the need to apologize. I wouldn't. If he has incredible thin skin then that might explain the totally out of context chapters meaning there is no way this book could be confused as historical.
Of the Napoleonic British naval novels, this is one of the best. It has a great story line that offers challenges to the hero, and action that keeps the interest. I thought the first book in the series was good, but this second book surpassed it by a long way.
Writer and narrator combined to make this a great read. Loved it.
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