'In Stockwin's hands the sea story will continue to entrance readers across the world' - Guardian
It is two years since Thomas Kydd was spirited away in the night to serve his country aboard the old line-of-battle ship Duke William. Now, he and and the other members of the ill-fated Artemis are shipwrecked sailors, back in London waiting to be summoned as court martial witnesses. Then, in a political act to shield an officer's reputation, they are shipped out in haste to the Caribbean - where sugar is king and yellow jack a fearsome peril.
What readers are saying about SEAFLOWER
'A great read for lovers of a seafaring yarn' - 5 stars
'Stockwin's seafaring books are so great to read. They leave you wanting more!' - 5 stars
'I thoroughly enjoyed this book and highly recommend it' - 5 stars
'I'm absolutely hooked now . . .' - 5 stars
'An excellent read, full of action and adventure' - 5 stars
The latest installment of this rousing naval adventure series set during the Napoleonic wars finds stalwart British seaman Thomas Kydd and his comrade, slumming aristocrat-philosophe Nicholas Renzi, ping-ponging around the Caribbean as Britain and France fight over the West Indies. The manic plot encompasses four battles, three courts of naval inquiry, two hurricanes, two shark attacks, a shipwreck, yellow fever, the rescue of French Royalists and a few floggings and dinner parties. As Kydd surmounts all leadership challenges, his courage and resourcefulness are praised by a series of ever more august naval father figures, and he experiences a dizzying social ascent from ordinary sailor to master's mate, picking up along the way the navigational skills and drawing-room manners of an officer and a gentleman. The oedipal fantasy at the heart of the book dovetails with simplistic anti-Jacobin politics, in which the British Navy is a bastion of meritocracy and upward mobility, achieving through incrementalism and rational hierarchy what the French fail to achieve through social revolution. Kydd's two-dimensional character is all virtue and heroism even a stint as a slave overseer leaves him morally uncompromised and the book never surpasses the level of vigorous melodrama. Still, Stockwin's richly detailed, if idealized, portrait of life on ship and shore in Britain's oceanic empire is engrossing. He writes evocatively of shipboard routine, the panic and confusion of combat and the terrifying approach of a storm at sea, and he knows how to stage enthralling action scenes. His ability to tap into male wish-fulfillment will ensure a growing readership.