Balkan Glory: Thomas Kydd 23

Written by Julian Stockwin
Review by Marilyn Sherlock

This is the latest episode in the career of Captain Sir Thomas Kydd and his ship Tyger. The action takes place in the Adriatic, which Napoleon Bonaparte has dubbed ‘the French Lake’. Kydd himself is dubbed the ‘Sea Devil’, and Dubourdieu and his French fleet, which greatly outnumbers the British, are ordered to get rid of him. It becomes known to the British that Napoleon has a plan which threatens the balance of power in Europe and the only way to thwart it is for Kydd to stop him in the Adriatic. Can he do it?

I have read several of these stories and enjoyed every one. The reader is helped by the inclusion of maps of the area and a Dramatis Personae marking out those who are real people of the time. They and the fictitious characters all merge seamlessly together. The author’s notes at the end of the book also help to put the action into perspective. The characterisation is first-class, and the reader quickly becomes involved with all that happens.

Many will know the island of Sicily and may have seen some of the monuments mentioned in the story with their own eyes. I had and was able to picture the action as it unfolded. The pages turn almost of their own volition, although the end is never really in doubt. Defeat might have meant the end of Captain Kydd and the end of the series. This is a book for all to enjoy, and I strongly recommend it.