The H.M.S. Leopard pulled into the bay of Pulo Batang looking more like a shabby merchant ship that a man-of-war. The crew had endured a calamitous voyage plagued by gaol-fever, pursued by the Dutch Waakzaamheid, and struck by an iceberg. Suffice it to say, Jack Aubrey was ready for home.The return journey aboard La Fleche proves delightful for both Aubrey and his particular friend. Stephen Maturin, with high winds and beautiful skies. It is when La Fleche nears the coast of Brazil that tragedy strikes. Accidental fire ravages the ship, forcing the crew into lifeboats. Rescued eventually by the Java, Aubrey and Maturin meet with yet another deterrent to their journey home when the Java engages the U.S.S. Constitution in battle, and loses. Aubrey, now a POW in Boston, waits for word of a prisoner exchange, while Maturin renews his friendship with the raven-haired expatriate, Diana Villiers.
"The Fortune of War is a marvelously full-flavored, engrossing book, which towers over its current rivals in the genre like a three-decker over a ship's longboat." (Times Literary Supplement)
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Alternative Entry Point
Naval spy games done well
- Dave Brown