Book Review: Quarterdeck by Julian Stockwin (Four Stars)

Book Review: Quarterdeck (Kydd Sea Adventures #5) by Julian Stockwin

Four Stars

“[Knew] I was a wastin’ the years God gave me.”

There’s nothing quite like a rousing sea yarn. Stockwin’s series takes us below the deck to see life as the tars saw it. Not since Two Years Before the Mast have I read a story the sucked me so thoroughly into life a sea. Like many others, the Kydd adventures are set in the glory days of the Royal Navy: when, like the Royal Air Force’s defense against Nazi tyranny, the Royal Navy was all that stood between England and Bonapartist Europe.

“There is only one thing of more heroism than going aloft in such a hell: the moral courage to order others to do it.”

Quarterdeck marks Kydd’s transition from seaman to an officer, and a rocky transition it is. More than once Kydd (and others) question whether he has the stuff for commissioned service. Kydd’s excursion to the United States offers a look at the formation of a new navy.

“It’s a land so big we don’t know how far it is t’the other side.”

Written by an English sailor, these books transports the reader to the deck of a ship under sail. Beyond thoroughly researched, this book has the feel of heaving deck and the smell of salt air–not to mention rank bilges and burnt gunpowder.

“[Research] is an aspect of being a writer that I particularly enjoy.”