Foul Tide's Turning by Stephen Hunt

Foul Tide's Turning book cover
Rating 7.0/10
Overall, not the book I was expecting.

Jacob Carnehan rescued his son from slavery but he may have started a war - one in which he is hopelessly overmatched - and his wits and ruthlessness will only take him so far.

Carter Carnehan has gone from slave to revolutionary - but what will his ideas be worth when they come under fire?

The Carnehans are about to find out…

I really enjoyed the first in the In Dark Service series so I was eager to read this follow up. The world Hunt created in book one was mind numbingly vast and very imaginative. After all that groundwork and world building, this one is mainly set in a provincial backwater and barely hops from one county to another. So after the immense scope of the first, this is something of an anti-climax.

This has characters in abundance, all thinking and making asides to the reader - almost like a stage whisper in a pantomime. I understand the need to create ambiguity and uncertainty, of people hiding their true intentions, but this happens so often it becomes jarring. Also, this novel contains a lot of verbal sparring, whining and taunting - again, this becomes overcooked, making the strong characters I enjoyed in book one a little like petulant children.

This second act is in marked contrast to what has gone before, this focuses more on local politics, and a civil war. After taking its time, this does heat up and there is plenty of action and excitement. Overall, not the book I was expecting. I really hope that Hunt finds the magic formula that made the first book such a thrill to read.

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