In the early 1800s, the British Navy stands as the only bulwark against the militant fanaticism of Napoleonic France. Captain Jack Aubrey, a brilliant and experienced officer, has been struck off the list of post-captains for a crime he has not committed. His old friend Stephen Maturin, usually acting as the ship's surgeon to cover his activities on behalf of British intelligence, has bought for Aubrey his old ship, the Surprise, to command as a privateer. Together they will sail on a desperate mission against the French that, if successful, may redeem Aubrey from the private hell of his disgrace.
In this twelfth installment of the beloved Aubrey-Maturin series, Patrick O'Brian has created another tale of great narrative power. O'Brian's attention to period detail and his ability to weave excitement and high seas adventure into every yarn make his novels utterly delightful must-haves.