Revolution at Sea saga
The Revolution at Sea Saga is a series of five novels created and written by James L. Nelson, author of The Only Life That Mattered. It encompasses the year 1775 through 1777 during the American Revolution, and focuses on the adventures of smuggler, revolutionary, captain, but most of all sailor Isaac Biddlecomb.
In By Force of Arms, Captain Isaac Biddlecomb's smuggling ship, the Judea, is destroyed by British soldiers, which results eventually in his and his friend Ezra Rumstick's impressment aboard an English man-o-war, HMS Icarus, commanded by the irresponsible and arrogant Lieutenant James Pendexter. Isaac and his friends lead the revolt against the oppressive boatswain and captain of the Icarus.
In The Maddest Idea, Isaac and Rumstick are fitted out with a brand-new, all-American man-o-war: the USS Charlemagne. They're on a mission from George Washington himself to capture a cache of British gunpowder from Bermudian waters. Also a traitor is buried somewhere deep in the American government, who is intent on destroying Isaac Biddlecomb.
Publishers Weekly has praised The Continental Risque and By Force of Arms, calling the first book an "engaging start to what promises to be a fine adventure series in a neglected milieu". The Bangor Daily News reviewed Lords of the Ocean, writing that the series would appeal to "anyone who likes fast-paced stories of battles, boats and heroes". A reviewer for the Lodi News-Sentinel praised All The Brave Fellows, saying it gave a fresh outlook to familiar material.
Patrick O'Brian said of the first book in the Revolution at Sea Saga "Authenticity runs throughout the book, carrying total conviction," and of the author, "...Nelson writes with the eagerness of a young man sailing his first command." He has also been called "one of today's most gifted historical novelists." The Revolution at Sea Saga is an epic mixture of historical fiction and true stories, all set in 18th century America and Europe, with a backdrop of pure historical knowledge that James L. Nelson has shown himself to be a master at providing.
- Folsom, Chandra Niles. Revolution at Sea. The Hour, August 20, 1999, p B2.
- Review: The Continental Risque Publishers Weekly
- Review: By Force of Arms Publishers Weekly
- Wilde, Diana. Revolution sea story charged with energy, action, history. Bangor Daily News, April 7, 2000, p G2.
- Smith, Sandy. U.S. Navy saga has wide appeal. Lodi News-Sentinel, December 1st 2001, p 3.