The year is 1797. Napoleon Bonaparte is racking up impressive wins in the field against the enemies of revolutionary France. On the seas, England is putting up a staunch resistance.
When a modest fleet of British ships off the coast of Portugal encounters a larger force of Spanish vessels on their way to rendezvous with the French, the English are quick to seize the opportunity for a victory, even at the risk of a calamitous defeat.
Twenty-five-year-old Charles Edgemont is second lieutenant aboard the HMS Argonaut, the smallest ship in the British line of battle. When orders come for the Argonaut to engage in an all-but-suicidal maneuver to cut off the escape of the Spanish ships, he leads his gun crews bravely, until the death of the captain and the first lieutenant elevates him to command of the stricken vessel. In the chaos that follows, his defiant refusal to yield under enemy fire earns him a permanent promotion.
Thanks to the purse awarded him by the Admiralty after the fight, Charles is wealthy beyond his wildest dreams. But there are challenges when he returns home after years at sea. His newfound riches will prove no help when it comes to winning the heart of Penelope Brown, the feisty Quaker with whom Charles falls in love. Even more of a hindrance is his profession, for Penelope regards war as sinful and soldiers as little better than murderers.
Changing Penelope's mind may just be the hardest battle Charles has ever fought, at least until fresh orders send him back to sea, where he faces a more traditional and equally formidable adversary in a series of stirring battles of will and might.
©2005 Jay Worrall; (P)2005 Books on Tape, Inc.
"Fans of seafaring military sagas will welcome this latest addition to the genre." (Booklist)
Jay Worrell does a masterful job of weaving a somewhat improbable sea adventure and a more probable love story together. Clever twist is inserting an event from the life of the fictional hero Horatio Hornblower during his Spanish captivity at Ferrol, Spain. If you love a good sea story during the age of sail then this is for you.
Not Patrick O'Brian... in a very good way. All of the naval action and concise rigors, condensed and crafted into a readable, enjoyable tale. A bit too "all's well" in the denouement... no lingering loose ends to keep one's excitement high for the next installment, yet such thoroughly enjoyable characters as to at least ensure interest. Well-read, good production.
Jay Worrall has written a wonderful first novel in what I hope will be a long series. The characters are well developed, the sea battles are exciting, and the storyline kept me reading late into the night. Book two in the series, "Any Approaching Enemy" is not yet on Audible, but is also very highly recommended. This was the first novel of its kind (late 18th century nautical) that I have read. Whether it is your first or one of many, I urge you to read/listen. The narration by John Lee is an added bonus. Well done Jay Worrall!
I totally agree with the previous reviewer,John. This is a fun sort-of-nothing-will-go-wrong-for-the-hero type story without being rediculous. The sea battles are descriptive enough, that if you are driving and listening, you have to concentrate on the driving a bit harder. Overall, a fun "read" and I can't wait for the next installment if there is one.
I am an avid eclectic reader.
This is book one in a series about a young Royal Naval Officer Charles Edgemont in 1797. The story is about Edgemont life as a junior officer in the Napoleonic War. He faces the hazards of command with determination expected of a Naval Officer and his character is flushed out with periods of self doubt. He puts his career at risk by getting engaged to a Quaker woman Penny Brown. Worrall managed to include C. S. Foresters character Horatio Hornblower in the scene when rescuing a small boat of men off French Coast after a Spanish trader ship foundered onto a reef. Description of life on board a warship is first rate, as is the politics of the service, the story itself is average about life on the blockade. Worrell need to improve his battle scenes if he wished to compete in the field of C.S. Forester and Patrick O’Brian. I am looking forward to see how Worrall will cultivate this series. John Lee brought the story to life with his narration.
Must like the main characters, be intelligently written and feel like I learned something at the end.
Yes, I agree with the previous reviewers. This is a relaxing fun adventure story based in the age of sail of the Napoleonic era. Any nautical fiction fan will surely enjoy this one as well as a first-timer to the genre. The author has taken care to make this readable for those not use to nautical fiction novels. I've read just about all the nautical fiction authors and while it cannot be compared to quality of O'Brian's novels (who can?) it was a really enjoyable listen. Let's hope audible will add more for this genre!
This was an entertaining sea-faring adventure in the vein of O'Brian's work. I was riveted from start to finish. I really wish Audible would put out more of this author's titles.
I did enjoy this book, even though it's not nearly as good as O'Brien or Forster. I've read lots of books set in the time of the Napoleonic Wars, and there were a number of events that I didn't think would have really happened in the day, but when you suspend a little belief, the characters are by in large engaging, and I'm interested to find out what happens to them in the next volume.
I'm a fan of the O'Brian novels. Worrall has given us the promise of a fine alternative for anyone who has exhausted their supply of Aubry/Maturin tales. Good narration, clear characterizations using different regional dialects. I also liked the way he laced-in the Hornblower scene.
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