In this first book of his new series, The Sailing Master, Lee Henschel Jr. sets the scene for it's future as an ageing Sailing Master recounts his early career aboard his uncle's ship. When family finances are strained following the death of his mother young Owen Harriet is sent off to join Captain James Cedric as Cabin boy aboard HMS Eleanor where his ability with mathematics results in the Sailing Master training him. His abilities also arouse the interest of a diplomatic passenger resulting in a special mission as well as the less welcome attentions of some inimical characters aboard.
This was a well written book which had a good pace and well developed characters which I enjoyed. I do not recall another book that uses the route of a cabin boy as the entry to a series, and this is a proper cabin boy not just a convenience for the ships books to get an extra Midshipman aboard, and the concept of following the career of a Sailing Master rather than a commissioned officer is also new and something I look forward to seeing developed in later books.
The mention of the Sukiyama in the cover description perhaps leads to a question of whether there is a fantasy element to this book which is not really the case.
Description of: The Sailing Master
Author: Lee Henschel Jr.