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An earlier period than your typical, Napoleonic Era Age of Sail, so we will get to look at warfare at sea before the British became dominant. Good characters and good history drive an action-oriented storyline quite nicely.
 
Marcado
jamespurcell | Jun 11, 2024 |
British merchant companies equip a purpose built ship more like a large frigate than a cargo carrier. It serves its purpose well by surprising various pirate groups around the world. Its career culminates by frightening off a French task force while escorting a merchant convoy. An oblique look at warfare at sea during the "Age of Fighting Sail".
 
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jamespurcell | Jun 11, 2024 |
This series remains quite entertaining. Lively characters and a relentless, nonstop storyline drive the success of this series.
 
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jamespurcell | Mar 24, 2024 |
Marty, now an Admiral is sent to Burma to stir up trouble and he does. More misdeeds in the name of the British Empire. But, still; a fun read.
 
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jamespurcell | Dec 19, 2023 |
Bethany takes on Russia and the Caribbean with the same skill set, weapons array and verve as her mom and dad.
 
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jamespurcell | Sep 12, 2023 |
Marty and his team are seconded covertly to the Mediterranean to help Greece become independent from Turkey. So, we substitute Turks for pirates and let the fun begin. Another lively entry in this always interesting series.
 
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jamespurcell | Jun 7, 2023 |
The family and fleet move to the Far East and Marty and James are busy boys fending off nationalist challenges, slaying pirates galore as they support the Empire's expansion. Mom gets into the act when she and some other ladies are held for ransom. India settles down so they are off to support Raffles as he starts the Singapore Branch.½
 
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jamespurcell | May 26, 2023 |
This series remains quite entertaining. In this episode , the seeking the remains from the knights, Templar era. The main characters stay interesting and active as the action starts in. Europe continues through the Mediterranean and concludes in America. Even then there is one last bit of action in London.
 
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jamespurcell | Apr 3, 2023 |
The intrepid team of Charlie and Etherton are off on another Steampunkian Quest. This time to Central America. Etherton's skills and tools save the day several times, on land and underwater. Still a fast and fun read.
 
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jamespurcell | Sep 5, 2022 |
Etherton, 2nd lead, the engineer far more interesting than the first, Charlie, the lover.½
 
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jamespurcell | Sep 5, 2022 |
This series stays strong, as entertaining, and fun to read. Marty, his family, and his Shadows are off to India to save the Raj. On the way, they destroy the various ilks of Malay pirates and their ships as they rescue some of their sailors. From Calcutta, the next generation steps up nicely to assist their still quite capable patriarch in smiting bad guys and thwarting His Majesty's enemies.½
 
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jamespurcell | May 15, 2022 |
Another fun read in this lively and interesting series. Marty and his Merry Band infiltrate Bonaparte France to ascertain where Napolean will move with his armies. They are successful but at a cost as two of his Shadows are captured and tortured to death. They and their rifles get to play an important part in the Battle of Waterloo. For his success, Lord Purbeck gets to carry the Emperor into exile; fighting off a French Navy rescue mission on the way. A brief rest at home, then off to Ceylon to resolve a minor insurrection where Beth shows off her weapons prowess.
 
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jamespurcell | Dec 13, 2021 |
Scarlett wraps up her pirate career by joining Henry Morgan in sacking Panama and retires back to England. There to settle her family and create the Purbeck Dynasty.
 
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jamespurcell | Oct 12, 2021 |
Scarlett is transitioning into a merchant princess while maintaining her skills and attitude as a pirate.
 
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jamespurcell | Oct 10, 2021 |
Still an interesting series. Picture this, Martin becomes a viscount and a commodore and is sent to Aruba on a diplomatic mission. Not really, he and his merry band are soon chasing privateers, training insurgents, and creating mayhem in the Caribbean. Always a fun read on a gloomy, rainy afternoon.
 
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jamespurcell | Oct 5, 2021 |
Lively story and a quick but bloody read. Scarlett goes to sea and makes her mark with her strong fighting skills and her relentless assault on Spain and its colonies.
 
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jamespurcell | Dec 24, 2020 |
Literature, it is not, but fun to read. Outrageously Victorian, almost to the Pukka Sahib level, and seriously Steampunkian, HG Wells would be pleased. Keep your tongue firmly in cheek, and your quill firmly in hand but keep writing these enjoyable send-ups.
 
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jamespurcell | Dec 14, 2020 |
This series continues to hold interest with its different tactical twists to the Napoleanic War. Historic figures pass through but it is Marty, his wife and cohorts that drive the action asymmetrically within the context of these notable conflicts.
 
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jamespurcell | Dec 13, 2020 |
Marty is appointed Chief of Intelligence for Wellington; supported in this role by his "Black Gang" and amphibious flotilla. Caroline has his back as usual by wielding her political clout and new sword with great skill and her usual high level of exuberance. Early days in the Penninsula as Marty addresses the challenge of supporting many and larger land battles from the sea. Lots of fun reading as this alternate history approach creates waves, pun intended, within the "Age of Sail" mode and time frame and still gets the history right..½
 
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jamespurcell | May 20, 2020 |
Marty, with a price on his head by the French, is a frequent target in this episode. Unfortunately, so is his wife and family. On the plus side, Caroline continues to demonstrate her prowess with a muff pistol and is given an excellent Toledo blade as a gift from her husband. Treachery at the highest level in the British Government and lots of excellent "Special Forces" activity from his Black Gang when France is invaded, commando-style, in support of Sir Sydney Smith. As usual, many ships, are defeated and captured but cost Marty another ship. Quite correct historically, continuously beyond belief but an excellent entry in this lively but different "Age of Fighting Sail" series.½
 
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jamespurcell | Jan 4, 2020 |
As a cat burglar, assassin, enlightened HMS ship captain and benevolent landowner Marty is clearly quite different from a typical King's Officer during the "Age of Fighting Sail". His adventures are many, varied and interesting. Factor in his war princess bride, now the mother of four, and you might think that you were in a modern superheroes graphic novel.
All this before partnering with Sydney Smith a real-life iconoclastic admiral makes this series very interesting, exciting and quite different.
In this book, they are returning royal jewelry, thwarting enemy spy networks and wreaking havoc in the Mediterranean against various and sundry French, Italian and Spanish enemies.
On to the Peninsular War where they will add the brilliant "Sepoy General" Arthur Wellesley to their team as they battle Napolean and his minions.
 
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jamespurcell | Oct 8, 2019 |
Marty now has a fleet to help him clean out the pirates from the Caribbean. Caroline eventually joins him and they make a proper job of it. Lots of bad guys smitten severely, even fatally and new allies found. Fast and enjoyable entertainment with lots of tactical and weaponly innovations.½
 
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jamespurcell | Jun 15, 2019 |
Marty helps Wellesley sort some things out in India in a good mix of land and shipboard actions. Sailing back to home, he finds his family and estates in good order and new needs for the SOF. The author deftly shifts the action from Europe to India during the downtime of the Peace of Amiens. Looking forward to the continuation of this very good series.
 
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jamespurcell | May 19, 2019 |
Marty, who could be designated 001, is now a Lieutenant and wealthy from his prize money, is sent on a special mission to France. His purpose is to sow discord among the various factions of the Revolution. At sea, he must face three French Corvettes that have set a trap for them. His carronades or "smashers" do their job well and the trappers are sunk or captured.
Attempting to rescue a fellow co-spy, he s captured but turns the tables and escapes after administering a quick death to his horribly wounded colleague. They suitably address their mission with a very loud solution and escape to find that Napoleon's successful coup d'etat has put him in charge. Still not very realistic but then neither are our current deluge of superheroes.
 
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jamespurcell | May 19, 2019 |
Marty's special talents are recognized and he is recruited for a different kind of war. Paired with Armand, a French Royalist, their fleet of small boats is soon delivering and receiving spies, smuggling and generally bedeviling the forces of Napoleon up and down the coast of France.

The SOF starts small but soon grows larger and acquires its own cutter. Marty meets Caroline, fights a duel and is off to Holland to rescues some diplomats and Stadtholder's jewels. Blaez joins the team and for Marty, it off to Toulon to survey the French invasion strength.
On the way home from the Med; they capture several French ships but Marty's ship is captured. Escaping, he retakes the ship and continues on to Gibraltar where he faces his exam for lieutenant. Not a very believable but a thoroughly enjoyable series.
 
Marcado
jamespurcell | Apr 15, 2019 |