A Sea of Gold: Thomas Kydd 21

Written by Julian Stockwin
Review by Marilyn Sherlock

Set in 1809, this is the latest in the Thomas Kydd series, with Thomas as the captain of the frigate, HMS Tyger. Wellesley, the future Duke of Wellington, is in Portugal fighting Napoleon’s army while Admiral Collingwood is in the Mediterranean with the Navy in Minorca. Kydd, having been involved in the retreat to Corunna, becomes the toast of London society and meets the frigate captain, Lord Thomas Cochrane. When Cochrane is ordered to attack the French in the Basque Roads, he insists that Thomas and HMS Tyger go with him. So begins a story alive with action and set-backs which will keep the reader glued to the pages.

While a great deal has been written about the Napoleonic Wars, most of the historical fiction after Trafalgar has concentrated on the land battles which culminated at Waterloo in 1815. Julian Stockwin’s research into the sea battles has resulted in a series of books which cover this in a way that anyone can read and enjoy. Included in this book are several maps of the French and Mediterranean coasts, a complete list of who’s who, and a well-defined glossary at the back. His author’s note is also worth reading before embarking on the tale itself. His characters merge well with the historical figures of the day and keep you reading with eager anticipation.

This is not the first book I have read in this series. I have enjoyed them all, and this one did not disappoint. Highly recommended.