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Under Enemy Colors

Born to an English father and a French mother, lieutenant Charles Saunders Hayden's career is damned by his ?mixed? heritage. Assigned to the HMS Themis, an aging frigate under the command of a captain reviled by his crew for both his brutality towards his men and his cowardice in battle, Hayden is torn between honor and duty, as the British navy engages the French in a centuries-old struggle for power.
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Fans of Patrick O'Brian's works and other novels in the naval adventure genre will enjoy Russell's first novel, which takes place aboard the HMS Themis during the 1793 naval war between England and revolutionary France. The Themis sets sail with a crew on the verge of mutiny, owing to Capt. Josiah Hart's cowardice and cruelty. Battles with both the crew and the French navy insure a fast-paced and eventful narrative as the novel builds toward a climactic confrontation between Hart and 1st Lt. Charles Hayden. The contrast between Hayden's heroism and Hart's villainy often seems a bit too sharply drawn; however, Russell produces a satisfying resolution to their conflict while avoiding a storybook happy ending. The novel benefits from thorough research and a mastery of the technical details of sailing in the 1790s, though lines like "the back line, reeved through a block made fast to one of the shear heads, was then hauled" will have landlubbers frequently reaching for their nautical dictionaries. Russell is currently working on a sequel to be set in the Mediterranean in 1794. Recommended for medium to large libraries.-Douglas Southard, CRA International Lib., Boston Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

Russell's first-rate debut features taut plotting, liberal action and an attractively modest hero: Royal Navy Lt. Charles Hayden. In 1793, Britain is at war with revolutionary France, and Hayden, the son of an English father and a French mother, feels "torn in half." Denied a promotion, he reluctantly accepts appointment as first lieutenant to the frigate Themis: the commander, Capt. Josiah Hart, has powerful connections in the Admiralty, but is widely disparaged among the fleet as a tyrannical coward. Hayden is dismayed to find the ship in "a state of dreadful disarray," the crew on the verge of mutiny and Hart hostile to Hayden's remedial efforts. With the French in sight, tensions aboard come to a boil. Russell writes knowledgeably about late-18th-century naval warfare and lyrically about the sea. In Hayden, he has created a complex, sympathetic hero. (Sept.) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

?Fans of Patrick O?Brian's works and other novels in the naval adventure genre will enjoy.? ?"Library Journal" ?Russell's encyclopedic command of nautical lore, joined to his rare ability to spin a ripping yarn, places the reader right in the middle of the action.? ?Neal Stephenson, "New York Times" bestselling author ?Lieutenant Hayden is one of the most compelling and attractive heroes to appear in some time?This nascent series has ample firepower for a long run.? ? ?First-rate?taut plotting, liberal action.? ?"Publishers Weekly" ?[A] strong naval saga with vivid sea battles, strong characterizations, and a deep sense of time and place.? ?"Midwest Book Review"

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