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Saved from the Sea The Loss of the Viper, and her Crew's Saharan Adventures   By: (1814-1880)

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Saved from the Sea is an enthralling historical maritime adventure written by William Henry Giles Kingston. Set in the mid-1800s, this gripping tale captures the essence of perilous sea voyages, survival against the odds, and the indomitable spirit of the sailors who brave the treacherous waves.

The story revolves around the ill-fated ship Viper, which finds itself shipwrecked off the coast of the inhospitable Sahara desert. Captain Murray, the determined and resourceful leader of the crew, must navigate the unforgiving terrain to find help and save his men from the brink of death. With limited supplies and faced with harsh conditions, the crew battles not only the elements but also formidable adversaries, including hostile desert tribes and treacherous desert winds.

Kingston’s vivid descriptions of the harsh desert landscape allow readers to feel the aridity of the Sahara, smell the scorching sands, and hear the howling winds that threaten the crew's survival. The author’s meticulous attention to detail immerses readers in the sailors' arduous journey, bringing to life the hardships they endure.

What truly sets this book apart is Kingston's insightful portrayal of the characters. Each crew member is unique and complex, with their own hopes, fears, and motivations. From Captain Murray, who exemplifies leadership and resilience, to the gruff yet compassionate sailor Jack, every character adds depth and humanity to the story. The camaraderie and fierce loyalty shared by the crew members create a bond that resonates with the readers, making their trials and triumphs all the more compelling.

The pacing is consistently engaging, with Kingston skillfully building suspense as the Viper’s crew faces one challenge after another. From battling pirates to evading sandstorms, every obstacle is a test of their mettle and ingenuity. The sense of adventure is brought to life through Kingston’s vivid storytelling, making it difficult to put the book down.

Saved from the Sea is an extraordinary tale of survival, resilience, and the extraordinary bond formed between sailors in the face of adversity. Kingston’s in-depth knowledge of maritime history and his ability to craft gripping narratives make this book a must-read for fans of adventure and historical fiction. With its compelling characters, captivating setting, and thrilling storyline, it transports readers to a time when humanity's determination and courage triumphed over the harshest of adversities.

First Page:

Saved from the Sea, The Loss of the Viper, and her Crew's Saharan Adventures, by W.H.G. Kingston.

The books starts off with a young Grammar School boy being introduced to the local tailor, who is also a bit of a linguist. Our hero, and his friend Halliday, learn Arabic with the tailor. This turns out later on to have been very fortunate. Our hero and his friend are taken on as midshipmen on a frigate, where they are well trained. They spend three years at sea, and have the chance of visiting various ports in the Eastern Mediterranean, and also of getting to Cairo.

However their next appointment is to the "Viper", a brig which is barely stable. They almost upset on one occasion, and then really do sink when off the coast of Africa. Our friends and a couple of other seamen are lucky enough to have got off on a simple raft, though all the rest of the crew perish. Hungry and thirsty they find themselves on a sandbank at a considerable distance from the mainland. And it is at this point that their adventures really begin.

The book is copiously illustrated with engravings, some of which are very nice when viewed with the pdf version of the book, but which are not always so good in the html version. Although the name of the illustrator is not given on the title page, the word "Riou" appears on most of the engravings, along with a second, longer, name, which most probably is that of the engraver... Continue reading book >>

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