The 19th century dawns and the Napoleonic Wars rage as Horatio Hornblower faces the fury of the French and Spanish fleets combined. Amidst the hissing of wet wads, the stifling heat of white-hot cannon shot and the clamour of a mutinous crew, new Lieutenant Hornblower will need all of his seafaring cunning to overcome his first challenge in independent command on the high seas. And while blood and violence flow thick and fast aboard a beleaguered HMS Renown, the aftermath of war promises intrigue of an entirely different order: Maria, a young señorita, who might just soften the steely resolve of a young lieutenant.
This is the second of 11 books chronicling the adventures of Horatio Hornblower.
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The second book in the series tells the tale from a fresh perspective, with Lieutenant Bush as a viewpoint character. Seeing Hornblower through a competent everyman with his own ideas of service provides a new way of understanding the hero as he makes his way through the ranks and faces apparently insurmountable challenges.
My first reading of this book centered on the unfamiliar world and the courageous and clever solution. This time, the struggle with naval bureaucracy and inflexible rules and the dignified survival after return to civilian life without any resources were of deeper interest for me. These experiences seemed timeless in our era of cold hierarchies and ruthless layoffs.
Rodska conveys the excitement without getting overly dramatic. He acts in character for each line of dialogue he voices, and I never got confused by the many voices he inhabited.
Despite the distance created by a move to Bush's perspective (a savvy move, given some of what Hornblower might have done), the tension did not flag and the successes were always worth cheering. Forester is a master of pacing, recognizing moments that can be stretched and providing full value for each situation.
I made it to about chapter 3 before the voice actors poor performance forced me to stop listening. He would make a good narrator but his voice acting makes almost every character sound mentally handicapped and deaf with the same voice.
Christian Rodska is able to bring this fantastic story to life. Lieutenant Hornblower shares the highs and the lows in the Age of Sail in C. S. Foresters beautiful style. Christian Rodska fills the characters with life and makes the story a new reality.
Eclectic reader but mostly read anything seafaring, Tolkien and American history, even Pride and Prejudice and romance stories.
The critics were right: this selection was written from another perspective and not in Hornblower's character and voice. I still loved it although it was a bit different.than what I anticipated. The narrator was excellent as before and he made it highly entertaining.
The reader, Christian Rodska, is extraordinary, and brings life to the characters and story. You will feel as if you are living among the British Naval officers and crew of the Napoleonic wars.
Avid reader of romantic literature, history and adventure.
A splendid book. The characters Hornblower and Bush come alive with Christian Rodska's narration. The plot kept me engaged all through.
Yes! It's already shaping up to be a great series!
I loved the way Hornblower triumphed on the island. His keen ability to think on the fly carries the day!
He holds your attention with his ability to "carry" so many characters!
Yes! I'm tried to stretch it out, but was not successful!
I am a sales rep. I spend many hours in the car often travelling to see my parents 16 hrs each way. These books are such an intergral part of travelling for me...
As near as can be to fact. The story could have been about Nelson himself but would not have been half as interesting or action packed.
Say something about yourself!
I have been reading and listening to the Hornblower novels for
40 years. They are more thrilling each time round.
Christian Rodska is a dream reader.
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