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Ratings and Book Reviews ()

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4.2 out of 5
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  • And yet again

    And once more Patrick O'Brian has produced another masterpiece, packed with incident, detail, humour and action. is it the best of the series so far? i don't know. They are also good.

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  • Best in the series so far.

    Aubrey is once more ashore on half pay, married now with a daughter (rather than the son he really wants) inevitably short of money again and living in a rather down cottage almost but not quite with a view of the sea. Naturally, despite loving his new family, he is desperate to get back to that sea and, once again, Maturin comes to his rescue with news of a new command and possibly not just a single ship but a small squadron. Four French frigates have slipped the British blockades and are threatening British trade in the Indian Ocean; Aubrey and Maturin are required to eliminate that threat by taking the two strategic French held Islands of Mauritius and Reunion. Here O’Brian is writing our two heroes into a genuine historical campaign which inevitably constrains his freedom to drive the story where he will. But, for the most part, that is not a serious restriction as the real campaign provides ample action and adventure, however it does result is a slightly down beat ending which, for me, was fine as it grounded the story in a realism in which the hero doesn’t always achieve all his desires. The resulting story is definitely my favourite of the series so far. It races along at a breakneck pace, filled with action and a much changed and matured Aubrey who I found far more likeable, if just possibly, in his own thoughts, a smidgen pompous. Another great story in this series that is growing on me with each new book I read. 5/5 stars

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