Tuesday, July 28, 2015

"Until the Sea Shall Give Up Her Dead".. a review...

No. 4 in the Charles Hayden series and as good as the previous reads... not in quite the same literary vein as O'Brien, more the entertaining side in the same arena as Forester (but definitely better than Pope's Ramage )...

Hayden is an interesting character - a frigate captain in the Royal Navy of the Napoleonic Wars who is half French - not something you'd think that would endear him to his superiors!

Either way, in this book, fresh from his efforts based in the English channel covered inthe last bok, his ship, the frigate Themis, is ordered to the Carribean, there to join the frigate squadron tasked with interrupting French naval commerce.

On their way to the Caribbean they spot, and rescue, a small open rowing boat with two occupants close to death..  something about them doesn't ring true but it is a while before Hyden finds out what it is (and I'm not saying as that would spoil the book).

From a wargaming perspective, the book is a cracker and deals with a surprise French attack on British island territories, with the added complexity of relations with an independent (at this time), Spain. In story terms you can also throw in a traitor, a surprise marriage, lots of background on the British military experience in the islands (more lost to disease - yellow jack - than enemy action), intra-service rivalries, the down side of prize money, and a very sad ending (well I thought so)

Steve the Wargamer rates this one 8 out of 10..


  1. I agree with your comments. I listened to this on an unabridged CD set during a long tedious car journey. It certainly helped the hours pass. Not as good as O'Brien but certainly worth a go. I echo your comment re the ending. No spoiler here.

    We're off to the SW of France on Saturday hopefully through the tunnel if all the current troubles allow and I have another one to listen to. That's if we ever get through.


  2. Guy - enjoy France, and thanks for the comment.. I look forward to the next Hayden book..

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