Ok, this is the 17th book in the series that I've read. Each has been a journey you want to finish but dread to end. There's a little more dry land in this one than in some others and some romance but it is always interesting how O'Brien weaves in the politics, science and everyday life of the period in such a way to make it fascinating and so gosh darn believable. The guy must have read every possible contemporary accounts of the period!
One of the best of the series in its description of British efforts to stop the slave trade and to prevent the French plans to invade Ireland. This one also has a description of the treatment of mild autism of Stephen's daughter. One of the ships in the convoy is captained by an overt homosexual leading to a long discussion of "buggery" in the British Navy. And, of course, romance and sailing!
You don't have to have read any of the prior books in the series to enjoy this book--or any of the other books in this wonderful series. This one has everything--drama, romance, history, sailing, international intrigue--and O'Brian gives puts in short, concise explanations of what has gone on in previous books in ways that don't interrupt the flow of the narrative. Patick Tull is one of the best "readers" I've heard for any audio book. Read it--you'll be hooked.
Wonderful story, great continuing characters. Patrick Tull's narration is the best I've heard on any audio book. Start with the first book in this 21 book series and you'll be hooked. It helps to see the movie, Master and Commander, but that script was taken from several books and it omits the important Maturin espionage part of the plots throughout.
My third book of this series that I've downloaded. Based on a true naval and land battle (or series of battles) in the Indian Ocean. Great historical references to the value of espionage during wartime. If you're addicted to these books this is just one more you'll have to get.
You'll get more out of this book if you're a sailor but there's enough plot to go around even if you don't get all of the sailing terminology. (It hasn't changed that much since the days of the square-riggers.) Tull's reading is the best I've heard on any audiobook. Looking forward to downloading the rest of the books in the series.
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