With factions on board, and multiple enemies to contend with, only the most careful navigation will save them.
As he sails away from Port Jackson, Captain Jack Aubrey feels nothing but relief at leaving the penal colony and its inhabitants far behind. But, unknown to him, hidden among his crew is one Clarissa Oakes. With Britain at war on two fronts, with both America and France, Aubrey’s orders are to make for the Sandwich Islands and intervene in the conflict there.
How much trouble can one woman cause?
‘One moment you laugh out loud at comedy rooted in character, and the next, storming adventure or danger grips you by the throat . . . good writing allied to must-read-on storytelling.’
SHAUN USHER, Daily Mail
‘Thank God for Patrick O’Brian. His genius illuminates the literature of the English language, and lightens the lives of those who read him.’
KEVIN MYERS, Irish Times
‘If O’Brian’s novels have become a cult, this is because they are truly addictive. . . They are, quite magnificently, adventure yarns whose superb authenticity never distracts from the sheer thrill of the action.’
Caroline Moore, Sunday Telegraph
‘The Aubrey–Maturin novels, by Patrick O’Brian, are so addictive that after I finish one I have to hide the next from myself for a little while in order to do anything else but read.’
‘In Aubrey and Maturin, Patrick O’Brian has created two of the most enjoyable characters in twentieth-century fiction. Their relationship sustains an absorbing and thrilling sequence of naval stories, unrivalled in their complexity, full of impeccable detail and psychological insight. O’Brian switches from the intimate to the epic with equal assurance. One of the greatest authors to sail with.’
‘My hero is Patrick O’Brian. It’s basically impossible to write that well.’
‘One of the most compelling and brilliant novelists of his time . . . Beyond his superbly elegant writing, wit and originality, Patrick O’Brian showed an understanding of the nature of a floating world at the mercy of the wind and the sea which has never been surpassed.’
Max Hastings, Evening Standard
‘I devoured Patrick O’Brian’s twenty-volume masterpiece as if it had been so many tots of Jamaica grog.’
‘Written with most engaging enthusiasm that can’t fail to give pleasure to anybody who enjoys historical adventure flavoured with more than a dash of realism.’
The Sunday Times
‘One of the most brilliantly sustained pieces of historical fictional writing this century.’
James Teacher, Spectator
‘Patrick O’Brian brings depth to his sea-stories with outstanding dialogue, characterisation, humour and a golden thread of romance. You don’t have to love books about naval battles to become entranced.’
About the author
Patrick O’Brian was born in 1914 and published his first book, Caesar, when he was only fifteen. In the 1960s he began work on the idea that, over the next four decades, evolved into the twenty-novel long Aubrey–Maturin series (with an extra unfinished volume published posthumously). In 1995 he was awarded the CBE, and in 1997 he received an honorary doctorate of letters from Trinity College, Dublin. He died in January 2000 at the age of 85.