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Old 10-08-2010, 21:51   #1
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Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: SE NY
Boat: Tartan 27' - 'Odalisque'
Posts: 135
Julian Stockwin's 'Kydd' Series of Historical Novels

To set the stage I need to state that I have read the entire Patrick O'Brian series of Aubrey/Maturin novels twice. All 23 or 24 of them. It took me a short time to warm up to them but then I dove in and read them all and then read them again, in order as always.
I found that I very much enjoyed Patrick O'Brian's attention to nautical detail and often felt that I had been aboard a moving ship on the oceans when I put his books down.
Less then a year ago someone gave me the 1st novel in the Julian Stockwin series of novels that revolve around a character named 'Kydd' who was pressed into service in HRM Navy at a ripe young age. I have since finished reading all 10 of the 'Kydd' series and am prepared to make some comparisons between these two historical fiction works.
Stockwin is no O'Brian but he quickly drew me into the stories which I found hard to put down. Unlike the Aubrey/Maturin series by O'Brian I found that the language was a bit easier to understand, although this could be explained by my patience at reading the O'Brian books twice. Stockwin's books move the plot along very quickly which kept me wanting to continue whereas there were times that O'Brian belabored the details in my thinking. Where O'Brian excelled at painting the atmosphere Stockwin kept the narrative more exciting although it would seem he borrowed quite a bit from O'Brian. Many of the names of places and important people (Lord Keith, Nelson, Napoleon and Sir Charles Banks) are common to both series of books but in different ways.
While Stockwin's 'Kydd' series was derivative of the O'Brian series in many ways it was still quite enjoyable to read. The biggest twist in the Stockwin books is that the central character 'Kydd' rises to a commander from a press gang recruit while 'Aubrey' was a silver spoon elite to begin with.
However derivative it may be of the Patrick O'Brian series I can only recommend that if you liked Patrick O'Brian's books you very well may enjoy the Stockwin series.
Draw your own comparisons and conclusions.
Julian Stockwin Official Page
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