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Publisher's Summary

Napoleon has been defeated at Waterloo, and the ensuing peace takes on an ugly complexion for Jack Aubrey: drunken, violent celebrations of the English sailors in Gibraltar; the desertion of nearly half his crew; and the sudden dimming of his own career prospects in a peacetime navy. To cap it all off, the Surprise is nearly sunk in a shattering night collision on the first leg of her journey to South America, where Aubrey and Stephen Maturin are to help Chile assert her independence from Spain. In the end, Jack's bold initiative to strike at the vastly superior Spanish fleet precipitates naval action that will determine both Chile's fate and his own. The twentieth and final installment of Patrick O'Brian's hugely successful Aubrey/Maturin series.
Don't miss the rest of the Aubrey/Maturin series.
©1999 Patrick O'Brian (P)1999 Random House, Inc.
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Critic Reviews

"O'Brian is not that hard a taste to acquire, but he is very tough to shake...[the Aubrey/Maturin series] is a great work." (Boston Globe)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
1 out of 5 stars
By Will on 07-27-03

Blue At The Mizzen

Frankly, I feel ripped off. I just agreed to subscribe and this was my first download. I've listened to all the previous Patrick O'Brien books via Recorded Books. Not a one was abridged. I had no idea presented abridged books. There I am listening away and wondering where are the O'Brien details - the HEART of his writing. So, I check and sure enough - ABRIDGED! And, it's right there on the site for me to see, IF I'd had a clue to look. So what is it about abridged anyway? The reader likes the book but not enough to read the entire book? So. Be warned. It's ABRIDGED. Forgettaboutit.

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6 of 6 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Christopher on 04-06-03

The End of the Saga...

Left me feeling a little let down, but very happy that at least if it had to end, it ended on a happy note. Could you imagine how we would all have felt if POB had died after writing Reverse of the Medal?

When we left our heroes in the previous book, they were fitting out for the voyage to deal with Chile and Peru - the War was over, Napoleon on his way to the Ille de France, and Jack had voluntarily removed his name from the Post Captain's List in order to avoid the certain yellowing that his new enemy (also his last command's Admiral) certainly intended for him. Thanks to Stephen there is a reprieve possible, but where does it lead? We find out here!

This is not as exciting as previous books, in that while not totally lacking the famous energy that POB usually put into the Aubrey/Maturin saga, it may just be that he was showing his age. However it was brilliantly researched, and much like the rest of the saga, the connection to the past is there, and the author does not insist upon the happy world that most build for their primary characters.

Under the circumstances I am very happy to have had the opportunity to hear this story, as I believe you will be too. This book appeared in print shortly before the author passed away. He died at Trinity College in Ireland, doing exactly what he liked to do best - research.

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2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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