Aubrey, now a considerable though impoverished landowner, has dimmed his prospects at the admiralty by his erratic voting as a member of Parliament; he is feuding with his neighbor, a man with strong navy connections who wants to enclose the common land between their estates; he is on even worse terms with his wife, Sophie, whose mother has ferreted out a most damaging trove of old personal letters. Even Jack's exploits at sea turn sour: in the storm waters off Brest he captures a French privateer laden with gold and ivory, but this at the expense of missing a signal and deserting his post. Worst of all, in the spring of 1814, peace breaks out, and this feeds into Jack's private fears for his career.
Fortunately Jack is not left to his own devices. Stephen Maturin returns from a mission in France with the news that the Chileans, to secure their independence, require a navy, and the service of English officers. Jack is savoring this apparent reprieve for his career as well as Sophie's forgiveness,when he receives an urgent dispatch ordering him to Gibraltar: Napoleon has escaped from Elba.
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Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Mark on 16-06-15
I had mailed and contacted audible via chat after Wine Dark Sea came out begging to know when Ric Jerrom would resume the next book - ok the next few came out of sequence but thank God they came. Jesus, mary and Joseph I laughed out loud for parts of this. I think these books are my favourite books of all time and Ric jerrom for me is masterful in his portrayal of our 2 main hero. Off now to finish the series, then I will start all over again.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
By Trevor on 29-10-17
A Little Disappointing
One gets the feeling that in this, his eighteenth book in the Aubrey Maturin series, O’Brian, was beginning to run out of steam. Nevertheless it is still an extraordinary achievement for an 82-year-old author. O’Brian’s research is as immaculate as ever, his writing just as polished and his wit just as dry. The book is mainly land-based and features a set piece prize fight between Barret Bonden and a local gamekeeper - which is somehow reminiscent of the great hunt scene in Tolstoy’s War and Peace - and a serious quarrel between Aubrey and his wife Sophie. The subject of the highly contentious enclosure movement is also an important element in the story.
Anyone who gets this far in the canon will have become addicted to the Aubrey Maturin series and will certainly enjoy the book but so far it is perhaps the closest O’Brian gets to being dull.
As always, Ric Jerrom’s narration is superb.