Read Set the Seas on Fire by Chris Roberson Online


1808. While Europe burns and the Napoleonic Wars set the world aflame, the HMS Fortitude patrols the sea lanes of the South Pacific, harrying enemies of the British Crown. The Fortitude's captain sets his sights on a Spanish galleon weighted down with a fortune in gold and spices, but Lieutenant Hieronymus Bonaventure thinks the prize not worth the risk. The ship is smashe1808. While Europe burns and the Napoleonic Wars set the world aflame, the HMS Fortitude patrols the sea lanes of the South Pacific, harrying enemies of the British Crown. The Fortitude's captain sets his sights on a Spanish galleon weighted down with a fortune in gold and spices, but Lieutenant Hieronymus Bonaventure thinks the prize not worth the risk. The ship is smashed by storms and driven far into unknown seas, the galleon and her treasure lost in the tempest. Bonaventure and the rest of the Fortitude's crew find themselves aground on an island in uncharted waters. Beneath the island's beauty lurks a darker secret: an ancient evil buried at the living heart of a volcano....

Title : Set the Seas on Fire
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781844164882
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 384 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Set the Seas on Fire Reviews

  • Peggy
    2018-11-02 15:38

    I read the self-published version of Set the Seas on Fire years ago and loved it. I was heavily into Patrick O’Brian’s books at the time, and the thought of combining seafaring adventure with unexplainable horror really floated my boat.Um. . .so to speak.Sorry.Anyway, I remembered the book fondly, so when I found out that Chris was re-working and expanding the book, I was all a-twitter. When I finally got my hands on a copy, I jumped right in, hoping that I wouldn’t spoil a good memory. Boy, did I get lucky.Set the Seas on Fire works on many levels. First, there’s the seafaring adventure novel. Any fan of this type of book will enjoy Roberson’s attention to detail (no words used are inauthentic to the era). Folks who don’t normally read these books will be able to follow what’s going on without getting bogged down in the difference between a mainsail and a topgallant or what the heck a foc’sle is.Then, there’s the island life adventure novel (which is kind of a subsidiary of the seafaring adventure novel, until the man-sized bat things show up). We get a further development of the characters we’ve already met, but we also meet the people of the island and begin to know them. Roberson plundered many different cultures to create his natives, and they really ring true.Now we come to the character study. We see Hieronymous from childhood to adulthood (although not in a linear fashion). We get to see the forces that shaped him and made him the man he grew up to be, which has resonance both in this novel and in Paragaea, where Hero also appears. But we also get to see how he changes when faced with a challenge he hasn’t prepared for—love.The realistic detail in setting and character makes it all the easier to suspend disbelief once the supernatural elements start showing up; you really care what happens to these people, which is quite a feat. So if you like fast-paced adventure stories that don’t sacrifice characters on the altar of plot, then you really should be reading Chris Roberson.

  • William
    2018-10-23 14:34

    This book was easy to read, especially with the glossary at the back to fill in any gaps of period terminology that a reader may have.I found the mix of "growing up" life lessons that were interspersed with the main story line a joy because it have me a glimpse of what the main character was taught by his fencing instructor and how such lessons are applicable to the real world.Recommended for anyone that has even a passing interest in the sailing days and enjoys religious variations from around the world.

  • Stefan
    2018-10-26 13:20

    As other reviewers have noted, "Set the Seas on Fire" had a fundamentally unbalanced plot. I found the back-story (the sword-fighting lessons between a poor boy and a fencing master) to be engaging and well-written. The story's protagonist, Lieutenant Hieronymus Bonaventure, was also fairly well developed. However, the actual plot felt quite uneven. The beginning was pretty good, but the middle was way, way, way too long. Pretty much the whole plot was taken up by the middle (during which I kept waiting, in vain, for something important to happen) and the conclusion was way to rushed. The end result was that even thought the author's original premise, I felt a bit cheated by all the important stuff being compressed into the ending.

  • Fil
    2018-10-20 15:26

    The supernatural in this story doesn't appear until the last thirty pages or so and if you are looking for horror elements in your seafaring stories then look somewhere else but if you want a well written adventure story this is a fun read.

  • Kettlehewer
    2018-11-03 09:16

    Easy to read, pleasant enough. It wasn't a bad book, but it wasn't all that good, either...I know what the author was going for but I don't think it quite reached the ideal. There were quite a few things that I thought should have been re-written to make it more exciting and more gripping, but the biggest flaw is probably the characters. I didn't find Hieronymus to be particularly interesting or relatable, but he was a pleasant enough hero - the supporting cast were all too cheated of development to be memorable, with the possible exception of some of the islanders.Overall, definitely not a bad experience, but maybe also not worth the time.

  • Harold Ogle
    2018-10-29 09:23

    Just before the turn of the 19th century, Hieronymous Bonadventure, a young boy of common ancestry, rejects his father's desires that his son follow in his footsteps and become an Oxford scholar. Instead he finds a retired mercenary to teach him, and he spends a decade learning swordplay. Then, burning for grand adventure, he leaves home as soon as he is legally an adult (at 21) and joins His Majesty's navy. Years pass, and most of the book is told after the fall of Bonaparte, when Hieronymous is First Lieutenant on HMS Fortitude. We follow his interactions with the crew under him and the captain over him, and watch as they combat a Spanish galleon the captain believes is loaded with booty. Before the battle is brought to its conclusion, both ships are tossed by a furious hurricane. The Fortitude barely survives the storm, and finds itself in need of repairs, lost in uncharted waters...I enjoyed this book (thus the "I liked it" rating), though at the end I felt that the author was intentionally playing with my expectations. The story of his learning from swordmaster Giles Dulac as a youth is used as a framing device throughout the book, and I let myself anticipate that, at some point, Hieronymous was going to have to use his formidable sword prowess in some sort of epic battle. But that never materializes in the book. Oh, Hieronymous does use his sword, but he never enjoys any particular advantage or has anything to show for training for ten years. This is, I think, intentional, rather than an oversight. Clearly Roberson is adept at managing expectations; he masterfully builds an anxious sense of dread throughout the book, which lends everything that happens to Hieronymous and the crew of the Fortitude a definitely sinister air...long before anything overtly horrible appears. It's almost as if the author included those passages expressly to demonstrate that there are some things in life for which there can be no adequate preparation.The book takes a fair amount from classic naval literature, as well as from authors contemporary to the time period (particularly Jane Austen). The imitation is not quite perfect, however: the book reads as if someone was trying to mimic Austen's prose style, but the characters themselves read as far too modern. Hieronymous is an agnostic who thinks that all oceans are really the same body of water, and various characters on the Fortitude are licentious in a way that reeks of the present. So while the word choice is spot-on, what the characters do and what subjects they discuss are very modern by comparison. I'm happy that the author declined the opportunity to barrage his readers with sailing and other nautical vocabulary, which is really a breath of fresh air for authors writing stories set on ships. So, it was an enjoyable adventure yarn, and were it the first in a series, I would read subsequent volumes in the same setting.

  • Mark
    2018-11-09 10:27

    After seeing a few reviews of this volume, I picked it up and had high hopes for it. Sad to say it didn't live up to its hype. The plot is a meandering mess if nothing else. Lieutenant Hieronymus Bonaventure and the crew of the HMS Fortitude find themselves adrift in the uncharted waters of the South Seas. The bulk of the novel progresses as a historical fiction novel set in the southern Pacific and is a pastiche to the early navigators accounts of their experiences in the South Seas. If the novel would've stayed with that tack, I could've easily given it three stars given Roberson's skill as a writer. Unfortunately, there are feeble attempts to make the novel a fantasy novel. A chapter in the middle where Bonaventure and his island lover meet some very strange, giant bat-like creatures, and then the final 1/8th of the novel is a pastiche of Verne's Journey to the Center of the Earth. To further muddle the reader, the entire novel has flashback sequences on Bonaventure's teen years as he rebels at becoming a scholar and trains as a swordsman.

  • Hugo Åkerstrand
    2018-10-28 14:32

    The problem with this book is its huge redundancy. I do not know what this book is supposed to give me as a reader. This is probably to no or little concern to those readers who just want to read a fantasy fiction novel. And for those people I am sure this book have something to offer- either because you know what you like and want another book just like that or because you are enough of a novice reader to never been exposed to Robinson Crusoe or any of the thousands of its rehashed versions.Ship wreck - exotic people - beautiful indigenous woman - love - heartbreak. Sounds familiar? It does to me.If you want a book with the above topics, then you won't be dissapointed. This was not what I was looking for, however, and I must say that I am largely dissapointed with this one.

  • Old-Barbarossa
    2018-11-02 10:18

    Entertaining pulp adventure.Not sure if it lives up to the blurb of "Hornblower meets Lovecraft".The horror elements are almost an afterthought, certainly no build up of dread that Lovecraft is associated with, they are thrown in the same way as the description of island meals...odd.The flashbacks have a Sabatini quality to them which I thought was at odds with the rest too.Having said that, I did enjoy it...just not sure if it was fish or foul (sic - in an eldritch way).

  • Xarah
    2018-11-11 09:30

    This book was listed as a fantasy at my local library; however, after finishing reading it only the last 20 pages or so were fantasy-like and, even then, not what I was expecting.However, I did enjoy this book - it sure makes me want to read other books set on the high seas. The ending was quite short in comparison with the descriptive beginning and middle, which was kind of a disappointment.

  • Ken
    2018-10-17 08:31

  • Jeremiah Genest
    2018-11-06 11:15

    Well written but it doesn't really go anywhere fast. The fantastic elements end up being rather mild. I do like the wold newton thing going on with this and Paragea and other Roberson books.