Until the Sea Shall Give Up Her Dead

Written by S. Thomas Russell
Review by Juliet Waldron

By the bestselling author of Under Enemy Colors comes the fourth entry in the series, the high seas adventures of the intrepid Captain Charles Hayden. Set during the time of the Napoleonic Wars, you might imagine that this is another Patrick O’Brian knock-off, but for non-aficionado readers as well, this book is an engrossing entertainment. The opening could be mistaken for a perfectly crafted romantic historical. The captain and his trusty crew come upon a pair of half-dead shipwreck survivors, a young Spanish nobleman and his beautiful sister, who have been fleeing to a safe haven in the New World. Whether the Spanish Empire is, at this point, an ally or an enemy of the British cannot be known, but following the law of the sea, the captain duly rescues them. Not so duly, he falls in the love with the fair maiden. Never fear, though, devotees of naval battles, there are also pages of tactics and age-of-sail strategizing, many hand-to-hand, black-powder-choked struggles and insanely dangerous harbor raids, concocted by superiors who are fonder of glory than survival. Until the Sea Shall Give Up Her Dead is superlatively easy to read, period correct in every detail and crafted by a skillful writer – what’s not to like?