4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Storm and Conquest: The Battle for the Indian Ocean, 1809 (Hardcover)
With a reference in the blurb to Patrick O'Brian and the Mauritius Command, I started this book expecting a narrative focused on the naval campaign. In actual fact, as other reviewers have described, this is not the case. The book in reality encompasses a broader canvas, roving from intrigue in Napoleonic era India, through the perils of travel on East Indiamen until it arrives at the actual naval campaign in the last third to quarter of the book.
Nevertheless, it is a cracking story vividly told. The experiences of travelling on merchant ships in Hurricane-force winds are the most compelling passages. My one reservation was that on occasion I sensed that the drive for a dramatic story overcame the rigour of research. There are many descriptions of terrific storms, collisions at sea and heart-rending tableaux of approaching doom. On occasion, though, the episode ends with all hands being lost. Quite how the author managed therefore to tell the story in such gripping detail when all of the participants died left me a little cautious as to the rest of the narrative.