'…full of the energy that comes from a writer having struck a vein… Patrick O'Brian is unquestionably the Homer of the Napoleonic wars.' James Hamilton- Paterson
'You are in for the treat of your lives. Thank God for Patrick O'Brian: his genius illuminates the literature of the English language, and lightens the lives of those who read him.' Kevin Myers, Irish Times
'In a highly competitive field it goes straight to the top. A real first-rater.' Mary Renault
'I never enjoyed a novel about the sea more. It is not only that the author describes the handling of a ship of 1800 with an accuracy that is as comprehensible as it is detailed, a remarkable feat in itself. Mr O'Brian's three chief characters are drawn with no less depth of sympathy than the vessels he describes, a rare achievement save in the greatest writers of this genre. It deserves the widest readership.' Irish Times
From the Back Cover
Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin are ordered home by despatch vessel to bring the news of their latest victory to the government. But Maturin is a marked man for the havoc he has wrought in the French intelligence network in the New World, and the attentions of two privateers soon become menacing.
The chase that follows through the fogs and shallows of the Grand Banks is as thrilling, as tense and as unexpected in its culmination as anything Patrick O’ Brian has written. Then, among other things, follows a shipwreck and a particularly sinister internment in the notorious Temple Prison in Paris. Once again, the tigerish and fascinating Diana Villiers redresses the balance in this man’s world of seamanship and war.
“The author, master of his period and of the techniques of ship under sail, keeps his story moving with panache and ingenuity.”
JOHN BRIGHT HOLMES, 'Daily Telegraph'
“This is a splendid excursion into the glorious history of the Royal Navy. It is also highly authentic. There are real characters, believable dialogue, fine descriptive writing, excitement…”
“The tang of saltwater voyages and pungent aroma of man-o’-war gunsmoke contrasts with some equally gripping events on land. Another collector’s item for those folowing the career of this impressive – and very human – naval officer.”
BOLTON EVENING NEWS