This is the ninth book in the Matthew Quinton series. I enjoyed it, but was disappointed that it was a story set in Quinton’s youth rather than a continuation of the previous book in the series, which closed with some tantalizing dangling plot threads.
I’ve really enjoyed this series, but this book was a big disappointment. Instead of being a Matthew Quinton story set in the Restoration era, it’s set in Elizabethan times, during the lifetime of Quinton’s grandfather. The attempt to fill in the Quinton family history might have worked but for Davies’ decision to write it from multiple points of view, all his main characters having been polite enough to leave complete dramatic accounts that include direct quotes. Not only are the characters’ voices insufficiently unique, but the rapid jumping from one narrator to another doesn’t help tell what is already the weakest story in the series.
I really hope Davies gets the series back on track with the next Matthew Quinton book.
My comments on this series are a getting a little repetitious, but like its predecessor, this is a great fighting sail novel with sympathetic characters set in an under-fictionalized era (in this case the “Four Days’ Battle” of 1666).
This follows “The Blast That Tears the Skies”
in the Matthew Quinton series. It’s set in Sweden in 1666 — a time and place
not commonly found in fighting sail books — and is as good as its
Matthew Quinton spends much more time at sea in this book than he did in
it’s predecessor, “The Mountain of
climax of the action is the Battle of
Lowestoft, a naval
encounter that I’d never encountered in my reading. I have to admire
Davies for setting his fighting sail series outside of the usual
Matthew Quinton, Restoration naval captain
“Mountain of Gold”. His inheritance is under threat and his sovereign
send him on a risky treasure hunt for African gold. Despite that fact
that I don’t usually care for naval fiction in which the characters
spend much of their time off the high seas, I enjoyed this one and look
future to the next book in the series.
The fact that there’s a large degree of similarity in “fighting sail”
novels doesn’t keep me from reading every on I can get my hands on.
Still, it’s nice to see an author come up with a new plot device. J.D.
Davies’ trick is to set the action to the Restoration era and enlist his
characters in the navy of Charles II.
The main character is Matthew Quinton, son of a loyalist family, trusted
by the king, but with virtually no knowledge of seamanship, despite the
fact that he’s a ship’s captain. This wasn’t unusual at that time, but
Quinton’s lack of knowledge is why he losses his ship in the first
chapter. He soon gets another one – loyal gentlemen apparently being in
short supply – and the story proceeds.
The book doesn’t live up to the promise of its novel original setting.
It’s two thirds over by the time things really get going and the pieces
don’t all mesh smoothly. However, it is Davies’ first novel, so I’ll
read more if the series continues in hopes that his storytelling