The Tide of War by Seth Hunter

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The Tide of War by Seth Hunter

Category: Historical Fiction
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: John Harding
Reviewed by John Harding
Summary: A highly entertaining naval adventure set in the 1790s. This well-written page turner takes the reader on an intriguing journey of twists and turns. Simply excellent.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 448 Date: February 2010
Publisher: Headline Review
ISBN: 978-0755357611

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The Tide of War is the second book in a trilogy of historical fiction novels by Seth Hunter, set in the 1790s and recounts the adventures of British naval captain Nathan Peake. In this book newly-promoted Peake is sent to the Caribbean to command a British frigate, the Unicorn, to hunt for the French warship, the Virginie.

When I found I was to review this book I read first in the series - The Time of Terror - as I thought that this would be necessary to fully appreciate the story. In truth, I don't think I need have done so. The Tide of War holds up perfectly well as an independent story and while I very much enjoyed the first book, I think I would have enjoyed and understood The Tide of War just as much if I hadn't have read The Time of Terror.

The Unicorn has an unfortunate history of mutiny, as well as the recent murder of the previous Captain by the mutineers. The story sees Nathan confront his own self-doubt with the threat of mutiny always in air as well as dealing with extreme weather, pirates, spies and even a witch queen.

Over the two books I have become quite fond of Seth Hunter's writing style. His use of the English language to convey scenes and depict characters is simply brilliant. The dialogue between the characters is superb and their interactions ensured that it was easy to visualise the characters and their personalities as the story progressed. There wasn't a main character who was underdeveloped.

The story also moved at a decent pace. Almost every chapter was a completely different scene and location, and this progressed the plot well. The story never dragged. The author has added a number of twists and turns to his story. The battle at the end of the book with the French frigate was almost guaranteed, but the journey to that inevitable end-point was well crafted and colourful.

I would not say the book is heavy, but I certainly found that it was best read in an environment completely free of distractions. I tried to read some of it while the kids were playing and my wife was watching television, but the background noise and activity meant I was unable to fully digest and appreciate the well written text and excellent scene-setting.

This is a slightly different style of book to what I usually read, but I very much enjoyed it nevertheless and am eagerly anticipating the third and final part in the set. I never felt burdened or overwhelmed with naval terminology and believe that it can be enjoyed by people who are not normally drawn to this genre. I did appreciate the four pages of history at the back of the book illustrating which parts of the novel are based on sound historical fact and which parts are creative license by the author. While not required to enjoy the story, it certainly helped me put what I had just read into perspective.

Overall, it is a fantastic story that is very readable, well-written and just impossible to put down.

I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to The Bookbag.

If this book appeals to you then you might also enjoy Mutiny on the Bounty by John Boyne.

Buy The Tide of War by Seth Hunter at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Tide of War by Seth Hunter at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy The Tide of War by Seth Hunter at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Tide of War by Seth Hunter at Amazon.com.


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