Nineteenth novel in the Aubrey-Maturin series: a classic naval adventure, crammed with incident, superbly plotted and utterly gripping. With the Napoleonic wars looking all but over, Jack Aubrey was already on his way across the Atlantic to try his fortunes under the flag of the young Chilean republic when Napoleon escaped from Elba. Hurriedly appointed to command a squadron flying the broad pennant of a Commodore, Jack was made flag officer in all but name, to operate within and without the Mediterranean on a number of difficult and dangerous missions in an atmosphere of confused political allegiances and with whatever ships could be scraped together at a moment’s notice. Conspiracy in the Adriatic, in the Berber and Arab lands of the southern shore of the Mediterranean, night actions, fierce pursuits and the natural wonders of a still colonised North Africa all exert their pull on Jack, now ageing – wheezing indeed as he hauls himself aloft – and his old friend Stephen Maturin in this the nineteenth novel in a series that has, like the service it depicts, carried all before it.
The latest Aubrey-Maturin novel brings alive the sights and sounds of North Africa as well as the great naval battles in the days immediately following Napoleon’s escape from Elba.
©2011 Patrick O'Brian (P)2011 HarperCollins Publishers Limited