Monday 8 November 2021

#BookReview - Clement: The Green Ship (Clement, Book 2) by Craig R. Hipkins @CraigHipkins

Clement: The Green Ship 
(Clement, Book 2)
By Craig R. Hipkins

Publication Date: June 02, 2021
Publisher: Hipkins Twins
Page Length: 313
Genre: Historical Fiction/ Young Adult 12+

Normandy. The year 1161. King Henry ll sends the 14-year-old Clement, Count of la Haye on a secret mission. The young count and his friends travel in the wake of the mysterious mariner known as Sir Humphrey Rochford. Their destination? The legendary land of Vinland, known only from the Norse sagas. The journey is full of adventure and intrigue. Clement battles with a tyrannical Irish king and then finds his vessel attacked by a massive monster from the deep. The Green Ship sails to the sparse and barren land of Greenland where more trouble awaits.

“Oh sure, here we are being chased by sea pirates, in a land barren of just about everything, with no means of escape, and some sort of monster lurking out there in the darkness that tears people apart, just waiting to do the same to us. What’s there not to be cheerful about?” 

Clement, Count of la Haye, had feared that he had been summoned by Henry II to discuss who would make him a suitable wife. He had already dodged one arranged marriage, and he had no intention of marrying anyone besides his beloved Dagena. But marriage could not be further from Henry’s mind. Clement had previously made a name for himself by arresting the notorious highwayman, le Diable, as well as repressing the revolt caused by his evil and vindictive uncle, Sven the Terrible. His courage is beyond doubt, but it is his scientific understanding that has caught Henry’s attention. Henry wants Clement to lead a secret expedition to discover the whereabouts of Sir Humphrey Rochford and at the same time recover a very important chest. Clement knows that finding Sir Humphrey in the vast, and mostly uncharted ocean, seems improbable. But he finds himself agreeing under one condition, he will only have his own men serve him upon The Green Ship. Clement’s may not be old in years, but he is old enough to understand that if he wants to survive this foolish mission, then he must surround himself with men he trusts. After all, his uncle may have been defeated, but he is still out there somewhere, waiting to exact his revenge…

Craig R. Hipkins has done it again. Clement: The Green Ship was everything I had hoped it would be and then some.

Set in the late 12th Century, The Green Ship follows the lives of Clement and his small band of loyal friends. Packed with adventure, romance and several unexpected plot twists means this book is not only vastly appealing to a younger reader, but it is also a novel that can confidently hold the concentration of its intended audience.

With a strong sense of time and place, Hipkins has brought this era back to life. He has also entwined the myths and legends of this period into the story, which gives this novel a wonderful edge. With likeable characters, evil antagonists and a mesmerising plot, this novel certainly deserves a place on your bookshelf.

Clement’s understanding and knowledge of science are crucial to the narrative of this story. His scientific understanding is the reason why Henry has made him Admiral for this mission. Of course, in this era of superstition and religious fever, many would cry heresy at the science Clement understands, but he does not let the opinions of others hold him back from acquiring knowledge. Clement is quietly confident that when sailing into the unknown, they will not fall off the edge of the world!

Despite Clement’s academic understanding, there was no way he could endure this foolhardy journey without the unwavering loyalty of his friends. His relationship with Dagena is particularly telling. Dagena would never willingly leave Clement’s side, despite their vastly different social standing. Their loyalty and their love for each other will overcome all evil plots from both men and monster. This novel is also, therefore, a coming of age story. Young as they are, Clement and Dagena are determined, despite the rules of the nobility, to stay together. Their unwavering love and romantic attraction are depicted in tender moments of rare alone time, which was really beautiful. Clement knows he will have to marry, but he is determined that his wife will be Dagena despite what a particular king may have to say about the matter. I hope that these two characters get their happy ever after when the series ends.

A character that I feel deserves a mention is Adam. Adam is a very innocent and sweet child-like young man who struggles to comprehend what is happening around him. He also seemingly takes everything literally. The fact that Clement brings him along on the adventure and treats him like an equal and an old friend is very telling of Clement’s character. Adam brings a great deal to this story. He is an unintentional hero who does not understand the bravery of his actions. Adam was one of my favourite characters in this book because in a story filled with traitorous thoughts and deeds he is a breath of fresh air.

If you are looking for a story for the young adults in your life, then look no further. Clement: The Green Ship by Craig R. Hipkins is what historical fiction is all about!

I Highly Recommend.

Review by Mary Anne Yarde.
The Coffee Pot Book Club.

This novel is free to read with #KindleUnlimited subscription.

Craig R. Hipkins grew up in Hubbardston Massachusetts. He is the author of medieval and gothic fiction. His novel, Adalbert is the sequel to Astrolabe written by his late twin brother Jay S. Hipkins (1968-2018)

He is an avid long-distance runner and enjoys astronomy in his spare time.

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See you on your next coffee break!
Take Care,
Mary Anne xxx