Thomas Paine Kydd, a young wig-maker from Guildford, is seized by the press gang, to be a part of the crew of the 98-gun line-of-battle ship Royal William. The ship sails immediately and Kydd has to learn the harsh realities of shipboard life fast. Despite all that he goes through in danger of tempest and battle he comes to admire the skills and courage of the seamen – taking up the challenge himself to become a true sailor.
KYDD launches a masterly new writing talent and a thrilling new series. Based on dramatic real events, it is classic storytelling at its very best, rich with action with exceptional characters and a page-turning narrative.
The greatest naval trial in the Georgian period is underway at Portsmouth with the court martial of Sir Home Popham, Captain Sir Thomas Kydd’s commanding officer in the doomed occupation of Buenos Aires. Kydd has some sympathy for Popham’s unauthorised action but his support for his former commander leaves him athwart some very influential people in the Admiralty.With his frigate L’Aurore unfit for sea, Kydd is given a commission that some hope will destroy his career. Tyger has recently mutinied but instead of having her company dispersed around the fleet as is customary, the ship is pressed into immediate service in the North Sea. Kydd faces a crew still under some malign influence.Enemies aboard and on the high seas are just the start of the problem. Soon he will have to take his untested and untrustworthy crew into the Baltic and there they will get entangled with Napoleon’s invasion of Prussia. The stakes are desperate, the task seemingly impossible and the French implacable. But the only way for Kydd to avoid disgrace is to gamble his reputation and crew on a crazy mission to snatch a Prussian division out of the jaws of Napoleon’s advancing army. Will he return home once more a hero, or himself face a court martial?
Forced to flee Rome from the barbaric rampages of the Ostrogoths, merchant Nicander meets an unlikely ally in the form of Marius, a fierce Roman legionary. Escaping to a new life in Constantinople, the two land upon its shores lonely and penniless. Needing to make money fast, they plot and plan a number of outrageous money-making schemes, until they chance upon their greatest idea yet.Armed with a wicked plan to steal precious silk seeds from the faraway land of Seres, Nicander and Marius must embark upon a terrifyingly treacherous journey across unknown lands, never before completed. But first they must deceive the powerful emperor Justinian and the rest of his formidable Byzantine Empire in order to begin their journey into the unknown…An adventurous tale of mischief, humour and deception, Nicander and Marius face danger of the highest order, where nothing in the land of the Roman Empire is quite what it seems.
During the Napoleonic Wars, Captain Thomas Kydd, aboard HMS L’Aurore, is assigned to the Caribbean and the Leeward Islands station. He is to concentrate his naval activities on the capture of French privateers who are attacking English merchant convoys. Soon he is ordered to join the Jamaica Squadron at Port Royal to protect valuable sugar cargo from landing in the hands of French privateers. He is ably assisted by his secretary, Nicholas Renzi, who also has a history (in previous books in this series) of spying on the French for the English government. Kydd is called to task to discover the location of a French base used to attack British shipping in the Caribbean islands.