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Sails on the Horizon Audiobook

Sails on the Horizon: A Novel of the Napoleonic Wars

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Publisher's Summary

With his first historical high-seas adventure chronicling the exploits of Naval Commander Charles Edgemont, Jay Worrall sets sail in the rousing tradition of C.S. Forester and Patrick O'Brian.

The year is 1797. Napoleon Bonaparte is racking up impressive wins in the field against the enemies of revolutionary France. On the seas, England is putting up a staunch resistance.

When a modest fleet of British ships off the coast of Portugal encounters a larger force of Spanish vessels on their way to rendezvous with the French, the English are quick to seize the opportunity for a victory, even at the risk of a calamitous defeat.

Twenty-five-year-old Charles Edgemont is second lieutenant aboard the HMS Argonaut, the smallest ship in the British line of battle. When orders come for the Argonaut to engage in an all-but-suicidal maneuver to cut off the escape of the Spanish ships, he leads his gun crews bravely, until the death of the captain and the first lieutenant elevates him to command of the stricken vessel. In the chaos that follows, his defiant refusal to yield under enemy fire earns him a permanent promotion.

Thanks to the purse awarded him by the Admiralty after the fight, Charles is wealthy beyond his wildest dreams. But there are challenges when he returns home after years at sea. His newfound riches will prove no help when it comes to winning the heart of Penelope Brown, the feisty Quaker with whom Charles falls in love. Even more of a hindrance is his profession, for Penelope regards war as sinful and soldiers as little better than murderers.

Changing Penelope's mind may just be the hardest battle Charles has ever fought, at least until fresh orders send him back to sea, where he faces a more traditional and equally formidable adversary in a series of stirring battles of will and might.

©2005 Jay Worrall; (P)2005 Books on Tape, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"Fans of seafaring military sagas will welcome this latest addition to the genre." (Booklist)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (215 )
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4.6 (112 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Jean Santa Cruz, CA, United States 06-05-14
    Jean Santa Cruz, CA, United States 06-05-14 Member Since 2017
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    "Adventure from the age of fighting sail"

    This is book one in a series about a young Royal Naval Officer Charles Edgemont in 1797. The story is about Edgemont life as a junior officer in the Napoleonic War. He faces the hazards of command with determination expected of a Naval Officer and his character is flushed out with periods of self doubt. He puts his career at risk by getting engaged to a Quaker woman Penny Brown. Worrall managed to include C. S. Foresters character Horatio Hornblower in the scene when rescuing a small boat of men off French Coast after a Spanish trader ship foundered onto a reef. Description of life on board a warship is first rate, as is the politics of the service, the story itself is average about life on the blockade. Worrell need to improve his battle scenes if he wished to compete in the field of C.S. Forester and Patrick O’Brian. I am looking forward to see how Worrall will cultivate this series. John Lee brought the story to life with his narration.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    S. Jones 11-15-09
    S. Jones 11-15-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Average"

    The story gets off to an exciting start, turns silly with an unlikely romance between a British naval commander and a tart Quaker woman, then goes for an undramatic, politically correcting ending. It was OK - not great. I wouldn't jump up and down to recommend it or listen to it again.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    SenatorPerry Newberry, SC, United States 10-17-17
    SenatorPerry Newberry, SC, United States 10-17-17 Member Since 2012
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    "One of the few good views of naval battles...."

    This book was a complicated read. The material is light enough and the imagery created by the narrative was great, but the perspective is from a single person in a very limited way. Maybe it just wasn't what I thought it would be?

    The main character happens upon the luck that we only hear about from those that are so lucky in wars. The unlucky's story only exists as fiction told by the fish feasting on them. You get a perspective on naval battles that really reaches back to US Civil War stories where a line of people faces a line of people with the pace and efficiency of meat grinding determining the winner or the battle.

    The audio performance was great. The overall writing reaches points of Pride and Prejudice with the side stories. At least in 5-10 minute sections you suddenly wonder whether you were the target audience for the book (I am a fat hairy old man). In total the story only lacks in the aspect that there are so many extra pages of the narrative that could be squeezed in here or there. It put the story at three stars only to reflect the title gave me a different perspective.

    The Napoleonic Wars are only a waiter at a restaurant where the main characters are eating. They serve to move the story along and give structure, but in the end nobody learns the waiter's name and after the steaks are served it kind of disappears.

    Those sitting on the fence should read the book. You will enjoy it. There is nothing else that gives you the same first hand battle perspective that I have found. One of the few books that actually talks about how all sailing vessels of the time ran pumps continuously. Great research.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bluestramp 06-29-17
    Bluestramp 06-29-17
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    "All a shore"

    I loved this read by John Lee . I am all in for "thar she blows" sea stories....
    Jay Worral spun a terrific salty yarn that kept me plugged in from stem to stern.
    I recommend this yarn!
    Rex

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anonymous 07-23-16
    07-23-16
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    "Worth your time and cost"

    Like master and commander by O' Brian ? You'll enjoy your time with this book and subsequent books as well. Worthwhile in time and cost.. RWB

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeane 03-14-15
    Jeane 03-14-15
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    "Great story"

    I wish Jay Worrall would write some more great books like this one.
    I would get them all.
    Murph 2015

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lee Texas 01-08-15
    Lee Texas 01-08-15 Member Since 2016
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    "Rousing Sea Story"
    Any additional comments?

    This was an excellent tale. Though the plot was a little bit predictable, I nonetheless found myself engrossed in the story. I listened to it in its entirety in a single day. There are only a handful of audio books which can hold my attention thus. Though this is part of a three book series, I was saddened to find that it is the only one available on Audible. I hope they will remedy that oversight soon! If you like sea stories complete with thundering cannons, fair winds and foul, and pretty ladies, then this one is for you. But first clear your schedule as you will no doubt want to listen to it straight through.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chris H 02-28-14
    Chris H 02-28-14 Member Since 2012
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    "Good but a bit hurried, occasionally predictable"

    The thing that's missing from this is a feeling for the time it takes to get from sighting a sailing ship to arriving at gun range. This tends to gloss over that in a few paragraphs, so it lacks tension. There's not a great deal of atmosphere or scene description either.

    There was one point where I said "and here comes the love interest" and without spoilers she arrived exactly in the expected mode and at exactly the expected time. This was never going to be a book about the Royal Navy getting thrashed, so that part is forgivable.

    My remaining impression is that this lacked breadth.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Thomas Asheville, NC, United States 01-17-13
    Thomas Asheville, NC, United States 01-17-13 Member Since 2015
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    "Great sea story!"
    What made the experience of listening to Sails on the Horizon the most enjoyable?

    John Lee masterfully narrated a well written and technically sound story. The characters all came to life through Mr. Lee's voice and wide array of accents and tones. The story was a real treat and at times while listening to the book I found myself either laughing out loud, wiping a tear from my eye or even cheering during the battles!


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Sails on the Horizon?

    Definitely the sea battles. Worrall's knowlege of sailing and battle strategy gives the characters and story credibility.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Charles confiding in Penny that he was afraid that he might be a coward.


    Any additional comments?

    I look forward to listening to more stories by Mr. Worrall and narrations by Mr. Lee.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ken Mitchell Edina, MO USA 12-19-12
    Ken Mitchell Edina, MO USA 12-19-12 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Good listen"
    What made the experience of listening to Sails on the Horizon the most enjoyable?

    It's a good listen, if you like age of sail books. Waiting for the next in the series...


    What other book might you compare Sails on the Horizon to and why?

    Aubrey, Hornblower


    What about John Lee’s performance did you like?

    Excellent overall


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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