Series v Standalone

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Debut book of the Series

COVER Caribbee UK

Latest title in the Series

It’s a question I’ve been asked quite a few times: Do I need to start at the beginning of the Kydd series if I want to read your books?

Well, this is a personal choice. Each of my books is a standalone, with enough back-story to fill in any gaps if you haven’t read earlier titles.

The series does have a theme – one man’s journey from pressed man to admiral in the age of fighting sail – but each book is a segment of Kydd’s life, a story in itself.

I know some people like to read a series chronologically but I can also see that a newbie Stockwin reader might finish, say, CARIBBEE (my latest book), and then want to read SEAFLOWER, when Kydd was first in those turquoise seas – and a much different person.

Click to make full-size

Click to make full-size

And if a commitment to read fourteen titles might seem a bit much to busy people, I always suggest taking in a random one, picking a cover or location that most appeals and taking it from there…

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this. How did you discover the Kydd books? Did you read one and then go back to the first? Or have you read a few in no particular order? Have you re-read the series several times?

I’ve put together this summary of the series to date, with the books in chronological order. You can also download or share this as a PDF.

[ KYDD series books in order PDF download ]

32 Comments on “Series v Standalone

  1. Ahoy! I’m not sure how I located Kydd (probably from one of my many internet or bookstore searches) but, I prefer to read them in sequence. I have them all and am waiting for the next.I am ex US Navy an an avid Ragsailor sailing in a’73 Catalina 27. Great series-no one writes nautical fiction like a Brit!

  2. My father got me into reading the series, we both share a love for historical military fiction, both at sea and on land, so I was lucky to start with the first book and have read them all in order. I have however re-read the series whilst waiting for the next one to be published, as I love these books so much.

  3. Hi
    I picked up Kydd as a book to read whilst commuting, having enjoyed the Hornblower stories many years ago when I was at school. I had to work my way past technical terms to do with rigging and sails which I did not understand but I was hooked and I have read and enjoyed every book since and now have my name down for next year’s installment. Long may it continue!
    Phil Curry

  4. I was Googling to solve a puzzle about a photo showing RAN sailors in 1913 on HMAS Australia and trying to find out what kit they were carrying when Julian’s name came up on the search page. Aside from still trying to solve the mystery items I am now a dedicated fan of the Kydd series. Just finished KYDD and now onto Artemis; in the meantime picking up the other books in the series as I visit bookshops. The storyline is enthralling and one has to start at the beginning and work through the series in chronological order. Single column, line astern with KYDD and Duke William leading the column into battle (so to speak). Your research is painstaking and exact Julian providing a graphic tapestry of life on board His Majesty’s navy. One book a year is a mighty effort in itself I would think.

  5. Hi Julian, As you know I am a devoted follower of your Kydd Books and have to have the new one each year. I originally came across your writings in the year of my retirement. At that time I was working as a property manager and one of my maintenance managers knew I was ex RN and particularly interested in the Nelsonian era. He had been given your first three books by one of the owners in the property where he worked for me and passed them on to me when he finished them. I was instantly hooked and still am, just having finished Caribbee. Although you could pick up any one of the books at any time and have an enthralling read, I have found reading them and re-reading them in chronological order suits my taste. I note a number of people responding would like to see two books per year from you. Knowing how deeply you research each book and the time it takes to edit it, get it proof read and printed would, in my opinion, not allow for 2 books per year. It would also cut down the suspense I feel whilst waiting for your new book each year.

    Yours aye,

    Alan Rootes

  6. Forget the authors advice…………???? LOL LOL . Start at the beginning and read them all. You won’t be sorry, especially if you enjoy this genre of literature.

  7. It all started with Sharpe on TV. Then on to the books, followed by Napoleonic sea warfare, with O’brian and Kent. Came across Kydd when in paperback, read it and thought, “this is going to be a great series”. Bought the hardback version and every successive 1st edition since.

  8. I’ve read the entire series in order, starting with “Kydd” in 2002 and ending with “Caribbee” a week ago. I don’t recall how I found “Kydd” but believe it was by chance when searching books of sea adventures on Amazon. Though I agree that each book can stand alone, I believe it is best to read them in order.

  9. I have been reading Kydd since the first book came out, Its nice to read in sinc, but I read them over and over, so it doesn’t really matter

  10. I first obtained your first book “Kydd” and have been an avid reader since,i own all the series so far written and in the middle of “Caribbee”, what a wonderful series and I fine I am waiting within days of finishing a book for your next.they are so engrossing I find it hard to put it down to go out on the property to carry out the maintenance of it.
    Keep it coming Julian…Fantastic.

  11. I love a good series and believe reading it in order is essential for maximum enjoyment. SeaFlower caught my eye when it first hit the new fiction shelves. I checked and saw it was part of a series. So I put it back on the shelf, went to the paperbacks and purchased Kydd. I caught up in no time and have anxiously awaited and then read each new title as it came out. Great stories. Great series. Keep up the wonderful work!

  12. I came across Kydd purely by chance in the local library. I have read the series right throughout, but the first three or four were borrowed from the library, and a couple more I have in e-book versions. My hope is to eventually have the whole series on my bookshelf. When you next visit downunder, you could sign them for me! That would be fantastic.

  13. I first came across the Kydd series at book 3 “Seaflower”. I enjoyed the book immensely so then tracked down the 1st two books and started to collect them as they were published. I finished “Caribbee” a few weeks ago, and picked up “Tenacious” to read again. Still looking forward to the next instalment. Thank you once again for keeping me entertained.

  14. I came across the Kydd series almost by accident. I was looking for books to download from the digital Braille sight for the National Library service for the blind in the US. I read the first three titles in Braille, and I waited for the other books to be recorded on Talking Book by the service. I just read Victory and have read them in order. Very, very, good.

  15. I’ve done the same ! Before every new release I have re-read all from the start. But now, there are too many, and I find myself quoting whole sentences in advance. LOL

  16. KYDD promises to be among the few truly authentic and historical series that will metamophose into CLASSIC literature, sought, bought, and taught for decades, if not centuries. Can’t you see it ? In the 22nd century, we’ll find whole library sections .. Austen, Dickens, Heinlein, Shakespeare, Stockwin ..

  17. I have been an avid reader of historical sea fiction for years with Dudley Pope,Douglas Reeman,David Donachie,Patrick O’Brian,et al.As some of these have “fallen by the wayside” I chanced on Kydd at the local library.I prefer to read them in chronological order & am just to start on “Quaterdeck”-I hope his career -by your detailed hand-will continue indefinitely! I shant complain,but two a year would be a real bonus!

  18. You do really have to read a series like KYDD in its chronological order, simply because it happens to be written that way. The one allowable exception is if you come across the author by chance and pick up a book that’s in the middle of a series, and want more. Then it doesn’t spoilt the pleasure provided you then read the series from the beginning….

  19. I like to read the series in order and without interuption. So I will not read a book in the series for 4-5 years, then I start from the first book in the series and read until the most current book. I like to read everything from the start to the end, even if I end up reading the first few books multiple times. I always enjoy rereading good books.

  20. I am one of those who has read the novels, all of them, consecutively. Following Kydd’s development has been exciting and fun. Let me also note that watching the author’s story telling skills also grow has been an interesting journey! Well done, Julian…..

  21. I’ve read the Kydd series twice, both times in chronological order. The way I discovered your wonderful series is a long story in itself but it all started with Aubrey & Maturin, Ramage, Hornblower, Bolitho… Well, I guess you get the gist. I’m “hooked” on the age of fighting sail! Haven’t read Caribbee yet but it’s on the way. Thanks for your well-written and well-researched books. I’m 80 so may not still be extant when Thomas becomes an Admiral but I’ll enjoy following his adventures on his journey to that pinnacle of success.

  22. I was particularly attracted to “the view from the lower deck”, in my experience, none of my favourite “Napoleonic Navy” authors had done that. I also relished in Kydd’s speedy embrace of his situation, and his all consuming desire to better himself in that situation. My only criticism of that is he rose far too quickly; I would have preferred to have had more books devoted to that struggle. I also have read the books in sequence and have recommended that to others, although I agree, each book is a story in its own right and can be equally enjoyed as such.

  23. I had read most of the nautical fiction produced by McBooks Press when a friend asked if I had read Kydd. I had not and she very kindly gifted me with the set less the most current which I have read from start to end with much enjoyment. As a retired Naval Officer I did have a bit of trouble with Kydd’s rapid rise from wig-maker to officer let alone command.. I love the detail and historical info ,some of that has been sufficiently different from other authors to cause me to research deeper. Thanks for your wonderful effort. It was also nice to find that McBooks was a local press! Please keep the series going. john

  24. I’ve read them in printed order but admit to re-reading Seaflower, my favourite, from time to time!

  25. Hi Jules,been with the series from the start after being adrift since Patrick O’Brian’s death.(won’t mention that name again!)
    I have read the books in order and thoroughly enjoyed the journey.
    After falling behind a little I have just read three volumes consecutively and become completely engrossed in Kydd’s world.
    If you are looking for a vote I would say read them in order as it is indeed a journey.

  26. I first found Kydd when looking for another well written Author of historical sea stories, decided to pick it up for reading whilst undergoing treatment for Throat Cancer, that book and the rest of the series has been a bane in my life ever since, I lose a lot of sleep, due to not being able to put the book down, just when I think I’m tired enough to nod off, another exciting adventure happens to him & Renzi and I’m wide awake again. Thankfully, I’m long past treatment and much improved, so has my library!

  27. Just like everyone else I guess.. I was a fan of Bolitho and stumbled across this series and confess to being addicted ever since.

    I would always try to start with book one and work my way through the stories in order, just in case I were to miss any comings, or goings! 🙂

    Tahnk you so very much for writing this excellent series


  28. I have read all the Kydd books in order and eagerly await the next one after Caribee.
    I have also read the books of Patrick O’Brien on order. I was introduced to this when I purchased a copy of the first book in the series. It was obviously issued in paperback at a very cheap price to introduce the series to people who had not read the books. It worked.

  29. I discovered KYDD in a book store on the counter next to the check out register. The cover was what first caught my eye, so I purchased it. I have read and collected all the rest of the books as they came out. I will keep collecting them as they are published. They DO make for great reading…whether you are just discovering them for the first time or re-reading them.


  30. I must admit that when I saw the hardcover Kydd at the bookseller years ago I passed it by – I was intent on looking for the next book in another series. But a lot later I found it in the library and took it home to read – and made a point of going back to buy the whole series up till then, though it took a bit of searching to get those early hardcovers! Now I just buy each book as it comes out, so you can count me as a dedicated fan.

  31. I was lucky enough to stumble across KYDD in a shop one day. (the cover attracted me to it). I have read all the series in order and and cant wait for the next instalment with each one, but they would still enthral me if I had started in the middle of the series. Just wish Julien could write a bit quicker x x.

  32. I had just finished reading all of the Patrick O’Brian novels, which had kept me enthralled for a couple of years when I noticed the Kydd novel Artemis in the local library and thought I would give it a try. Well I was hooked straight away and immediately bought “Kydd” and have enjoyed reading the whole series ever since. Just started “Caribbee”. Only complaint is that you can’t write a bit faster so we get two a year!

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