This is the first book in a new series by Richard Woodman, and for those that have read his Nathaniel Drinkwater series the style has a familiar feel particularly as the insights into the workings of Trinity House are a common factor.
The new principal character is Kit Faulkner, first introduced to us as an orphaned quayside waif in the reign of James I. This choice of period, as Kit's career through to the English Civil War is explored, sets the series apart, as it is the first time it has been explored by a major naval fiction series.
The insights into the Navy of the period are fascinating. This was the period when the foundations of the Navy that fought the Dutch during the Anglo/Dutch Wars and became familiar through the many novels about the Nelsonian period were being laid down which makes it of particular interest.
As you would expect from Woodman the story is well told and believable, and Faulkners story is based around the true history of Sir Henry Mainwaring who attempted to reform the navy under Charles I and whose written work Seaman's Dictionary, as the Author's Note tells us, is thought to have been the chief book of instruction for the Commonwealth Navy that was to found British naval sea-power. It also features the raid on Salee on the Moroccan coast by the Brethren of Trinity House. The pace kept my attention well and I am now looking forward to the next in the series.
Description of: A Ship for the King
Author: Richard Woodman