In keeping with my practice of reading a wide variety of authors in my genre, my latest author to sample is Alaric Bond. A while back I purchased the first book in his Fighting Sail series (via my Kindle) entitled His Majesty’s Ship.
I found Bond’s style to be very accessible for a wide range of readers, from veteran readers of Age of Sail to the newcomer. His story was well-structured and clear, following one particular ship of the British Royal Navy from life at anchor to life at sea to warfare at sea. In the latter section he did a particularly effective job with pacing.
While I’m a bit worn and jaded when it comes to the Napoleonic era, what I found refreshing about Bond’s story is his wide array of characters. Unlike so many books in this genre, Bond’s characters are not just those who walk the quarterdeck but also those below decks. And though Bond had quite a large number of viewpoint characters, I was easily able to delineate one from the other, and if I found myself a bit muddled at any one point I was quickly able to get my bearings. Bond’s point of view changes within scenes were not at all jarring as such things could potentially be.
A true measure of story/character quality is whether or not an author’s first book in a series leaves me receptive to reading the next book (and potentially the next after that). And I can say in all honesty that I will continue to read Mr. Bond’s efforts.