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 Julian Stockwin: Tenacious 
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Post Julian Stockwin: Tenacious
I've just completed Julian's latest, Tenacious.

I'll hold back my comments for the moment and merely ask if anyone else has read it yet - well, I know Simon has - and wishes to discuss it?

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Sat Nov 12, 2005 6:21 am
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Tenacious by Julian Stockwin

Possible SPOILERS below!


I liked the earlier books better. Although Kydd has some interesting adventures in this one, he makes only one tiny "step" in his profession – from 5th to 4th Lieutenant. The three main events in the book: Battle of the Nile, recapture of Minorca (1798), and the defense of Acre by Sir Sidney Smith, have been covered to a greater or smaller degree in a number of other books. The explosion aboard l’Orient is not a big surprise. I found Thomas Kydd’s below deck history in the earlier books rarer and more engaging.

I guess I was looking forward to Kydd getting his first command and was a little disappointed in not finding it in this book. Oh, well, I guess that leaves something to look forward to in the next one.

I also found myself missing the far-ranging discussions between Kydd and Renzi. Renzi does have some conversations with Peake, the chaplain, who represents the first anti-war view in an AoS book that I have ever read. I wonder if Stockwin is making a political point when he has Peake die in the siege at Acre.

As I was reading about the main character rigging a signaling system to inform the British Fleet during the invasion on Minorca, I had the strangest feeling that I had read this exact sequence in another fictional series. However, for the life of me I could not remember which character or series. Does anyone else remember?

Don


Wed Nov 30, 2005 1:38 am
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I confess I quite liked this one once I got going on it, although, the thing that annoys me intensely is the attempt to constantly convey to the reader Kydd's colloquial speech. I suppose it is intended to remind the reader of Kydd's humble origins, but I do find a whole novel of it wearing.

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I guess I was looking forward to Kydd getting his first command and was a little disappointed in not finding it in this book. Oh, well, I guess that leaves something to look forward to in the next one.


... but, Don, don't you think it unrealistic if he had achieved his first command at this stage? The story is set in 1798, so it's only five years since he was pressed. I confess, I don't know the statistics on this, so I stand to be corrected as to the possibility. I also realise it is war time and such things could be so.

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As I was reading about the main character rigging a signaling system to inform the British Fleet during the invasion on Minorca, I had the strangest feeling that I had read this exact sequence in another fictional series. However, for the life of me I could not remember which character or series. Does anyone else remember?


No, it doesn't ring bells with me, but I did wonder at the time if that had been done, and if the author was basing it on fact.

As I said, I did enjoy the book very much, and I do recommend it.

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Sun Dec 04, 2005 11:27 am
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Mil Goose wrote:
... but, Don, don't you think it unrealistic if he had achieved his first command at this stage? The story is set in 1798, so it's only five years since he was pressed. I confess, I don't know the statistics on this, so I stand to be corrected as to the possibility. I also realise it is war time and such things could be so.


Mary, When Stockwin announced the Kydd series, I remember reading that the series would be 10 books from pressed sailor to Captain. I do not know if the author is still going by this schedule but I kind of expected that Kydd would be commanding a sloop or other small ship by the sixth book – even if it were only a temporary command like a prize ship, fire ship, or other special mission. Then moving from Lieutenant to Commander as he works his way to larger and larger ships.

Obviously, my expectations were not in tune with the author's plans. Actually Kydd will be easier to write about once he walks the quarterdeck of his own ship, no matter how small and no matter how temporary. Stockwin had to create some off-ship adventures for the lowest ranking lieutenant of HMS Tenacious, otherwise Kydd would just be following orders and taking care of the less important tasks which would not be very interesting.

I actually did enjoy this book, just not quite as much as the earlier ones. I would hope my comments would not deter others from reading this series, it is one of my favorites.

Don


Sun Dec 04, 2005 3:04 pm
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timoneer wrote:


Mary, When Stockwin announced the Kydd series, I remember reading that the series would be 10 books from pressed sailor to Captain.



I'd got the notion the series planned to take Kydd from pressed man to Admiral. I'm trying to find something that substantiates my thoughts. :)

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Sun Dec 04, 2005 3:40 pm
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Mil Goose wrote:
I'd got the notion the series planned to take Kydd from pressed man to Admiral. I'm trying to find something that substantiates my thoughts. :)

Mary, since our comments were made in 2005, I guess neither one of us found that original plan by Stockwin. I was struck by this because I am now reading "Invasion" -- the 10th in the Kydd series. In the "Author's Notes", Stockwin says that this series will now be at least 20 books.

BTW, I think you were correct. After reflection, I seem to remember that Kydd was going to be an Admiral by the end of 10 (or 11) novels. Since Kydd is only a commander of a sloop at the moment, he has a way to go. And... I'm sure it will be an interesting voyage!

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Thu Oct 29, 2009 1:15 pm
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Julian gave an interview to McBooks Press last year in which he said
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On the whole I have stuck with the script, as you put it, but the deeper I have got into the research the more I have become amazed at just how rich this period is for an author's imagination. My original conception of the series was that it would be eleven books, that number is now revised upwards, considerably.

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