I read a couple of these books in the nineties, similar Napoleonic/Hornblower space navy set up to the Seafort Saga.

'Ships of the Wall' was an expression used and, like in the Seafort books, floggings are commonplace.

Not Honor Harrington, they had a male protagonist. I think there may have been a rebellion or mutiny just as an unfriendly alien fleet arrived in human space.

  • 2
    I have looked at the guide and really thought hard and this is all I can remember
    – Danny Mc G
    Jun 13, 2019 at 4:53
  • was it a midshipman coming to power through mutiny and then having to turn to piracy? This made me think of a series i read where a young recruit he was frequently flogged takes power and also the captains wife and then goes on a campaign to overthrow the system
    – mgh42
    Jun 14, 2019 at 3:21
  • @mgh42 what was that series please? it sounds possible but I'd need to have a look
    – Danny Mc G
    Jun 14, 2019 at 6:23
  • not sure, your question just reminded me of a series I read around the same time of reading seafort and harrington, will have to dig through my books and see if I can find it
    – mgh42
    Jun 15, 2019 at 13:01

2 Answers 2


Not sure if this is the one you are looking for, but your description reminded me of the Hulzien Dynasty by FM Busby which I read around the same time as Harrington and Seafort, the first book is Star Rebel

It's a long time since I read it, so the details are a little fuzzy, but the main character was Bran Tregare, as a young cadet/midshipman he was often flogged and ended up in a mutiny and becoming a pirate captain.

Not sure if they used the term Ships of the wall, but the rest seems a reasonable fit. I do remember aliens arriving at some point as well.

  • Yes! Brian Tregare, as soon as I saw that name it all came back to me. Well done and thank you, off to download now, thanks again
    – Danny Mc G
    Jun 18, 2019 at 4:20
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    I only got that from being like Seafort and commonplace floggings , I need to dig out my old copies and read them again
    – mgh42
    Jun 18, 2019 at 5:03
  • I remember reading Star Rebel way back when. That Space Navy (or whatever it was called) was so dysfunctional that I found it amazing that every ship's crew didn't mutiny.
    – Lorendiac
    Jun 18, 2019 at 20:18

"Ships of the Wall" is so characteristic a David Weber term that I think you must have read some of the books from the Honorverse that do not feature Honor Harrington directly as the protagonist. There are a number of spin-off books with male protagonists, not all authored by Weber himself. The most notable series are :

The one serious discrepancy is with the dates. The earliest of these spin-off novels were published near the beginning of this millennium, and most of them are quite a bit later.

  • That was my first idea, too. Yet this is only possible if the OP did mix up things on two topics in his memory: The first books of these sidelines where published in the early 2000s, not in the 90s, and there are no spacefaring aliens in Honorverse (maybe the OP didn't remember that humanity is split into several nations and that "alien" fleet was just from another human empire? Jun 13, 2019 at 7:23
  • I've had a look online at the books mentioned and I really don't think it was any of them, none seem familiar. I've read a few HH books and the series I'm looking was NOT from the Honorverse, however it did use 'ships of the Wall' because that reminded me of the Honor books
    – Danny Mc G
    Jun 13, 2019 at 8:36
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    I keep wondering if it might have been "ships of the line" or "ships of the [something else]" that was the common phrase used for the big warships in whatever DannyMcG is remembering.
    – Lorendiac
    Jun 13, 2019 at 19:22
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    'Ships of the Wall' is a common description - the earliest usage I can think of is in Doc Smith's Lensman series. The only suggestion I can make is perhaps Bill Baldwin's 'Helmsman' series ? Jun 13, 2019 at 22:30
  • @Martin Goldsack does the Helmsman series say 'Ship of the Wall' can you remember?
    – Danny Mc G
    Jun 14, 2019 at 6:24

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