This is the second in the Ramage series (see my review of _Ramage_). It's even better than the first. Pope is a fine writer and keeps the pace moving along at a good clip--easy to read. Ramage has a series of adventures and finally plays a major part in the Battle of Cape St. Vincent. The real joy in these books is following Ramage's thought processes to solve the predicament he's in. Pope never gives it away, though, and the reader has to guess (just as the crew does!) at his plans. It's like reading a mystery novel. It's all good fun!
A interesting introduction to the lives of sailors during the latter part of the seveneeth century and the early years of the eighteenth. A time when our wooden, "square rigged" navy was simultaneously fighting against a varying number of foreign enemies and doing so throughout many parts id the world. Creating "the wooden walls of England" it was often little more than a political pawn on a wider stage but yet managed to shape the nation for many years to come. In discovering the hardy lifestyles and tribulations of these brave and long suffering men this book forms a ready source for adventure tales of all types while still possessing historic accuracy.
Over the last 20 years or so i must have read most if not all of Dudley pope's Ramage and Ned Yorke books several times, and i always enjoy re-reading them, now of cause we can get the in the Kindle format which is good because unlike ordinary books they will not deteriorate with age.
Here is an author who knows his subject inside out plus he is a gifted story-teller. Skilfully weaving fact and fiction the reader is drawn into 18th century naval adventures so real that it seems we are there beside Ramage as he fulfils his destiny.