Canadian author - S. Thomas Russell’s first book ‘Under Enemy Colors’ in his Themis Series focuses on lieutenant Charles Saunders Hayden, a man who had an English father and a French mother; England and France were at war. His parentage and lacking of influential friends resulted in him being a Naval Officer with limited possibilities. I have not read the Hornblower books and therefore had nothing to compare this book to. While I found it a little slow for the first 50 or so pages while the author made the reader familiar with the hero of the book, I was delighted that I stayed the course and finished this book; it was simply great reading. I will definitely read the entire four-book series. Senior Doctor-at-Bass! D. A.
I had great hopes, but the first couple of chapters did not make me want to continue. Nothing specifically wrong, just figured if I want to read the Hornblower books, I should just go back to them rather than try a new iteration.
Of all the naval fiction I have read so far this is by far my favorite book.
Charles Hayden is the product of a English father and a French mother. This is a reoccurring theme throughout the book as Hayden struggles to come to terms with a war that pits him against his beloved childhood home in France. The fact that he speaks flawless French does come in handy in many of the situations he finds himself.
Given the job of being second in command to a tyrannical, cowardly captain, he must find a way to do his duty and avoid losing his career.
The romantic story plays a very small part in the book, much to my relief and there were some great characters from captains to pressed men. There are maybe a few too many convenient situations but the story is action packed and engaging.
A very rousing historical fiction tale, reminiscent of Patrick O'Brian's great "Master and Commander" series. The second book (which I read out of sequence) is equally good. I hope Mr. Russell intends to write more of these!
As good as the Aubrey/Maturin series without as much arduous, technical sailing data. Laugh out loud funny in places.
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