Well, I’ve read them all (I think), from C.S. Forrester to Alexander Kent, via Patrick O’Brian, Dudley Pope and Richard Woodman, even Julian Stockwin - others too. My shelves groan with “wooden walls” fiction; blame my dad for introducing me to Hornblower at an impressionable age.

So when I found Under Enemy Colours by Sean Thomas Russell, I knew that I would like the genre, but would I like the new author? Given my new found impatience with books, could I bothered with this one, would Russell have a new angle?

Short answer: Yes.

Longer answer: I thoroughly enjoyed this book, up there amongst the best of it’s genre already. I liked most of the characters (although some were pretty thinly drawn), and yes, there was a new twist: a British naval character, Charles Hayden with split French/English parentage and a degree of personal confusion. I hope I’m going to find out more of this man’s life and career (seems likely, most everyone who creates a character in this period/genre ends up with a series). A fair plot, albeit a tad predictable, and some (for this landlubber) pretty well described naval manoeuvres.