Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey--Maturin tales are widely hailed as the greatest series of historical novels ever written. Reinstated to the Navy List, Jack Aubrey engages on a secret mission with a hand-picked crew in this continuation of the Aubrey-Maturin series For all Jack Aubrey's life he has triumphed, often sensationally, over the dangers of the ...
Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey--Maturin tales are widely hailed as the greatest series of historical novels ever written. Reinstated to the Navy List, Jack Aubrey engages on a secret mission with a hand-picked crew in this continuation of the Aubrey-Maturin series For all Jack Aubrey's life he has triumphed, often sensationally, over the dangers of the sea and the violence of the enemy. But his rashness, his guilelessness, his indiscretion have time and time again enabled his rivals to prevent him reaping his just rewards. The nadir was reached in 'The Reverse of the Medal' when, the victim of a skilful frame-up, he was convicted of fraud and struck off the Navy list just as he was coming within sight of flag rank. The subsequent exposure of the conspiracy, coupled with his brilliant success in command of a privateer, had brought him to a position where Their Lordships were more or less bound to reinstate him. This, as the present book opens, they have done, and he and his old friend Dr Maturin are sailing on a secret mission with a hand-picked crew, most of them shipmates from the adventures and lucrative voyages of earlier years.
Publishers Weekly, 1991-03-29 The 18th in O'Brian's Jack Aubrey series will please current fans and likely make new ones. Newly rich Aubrey ( The Letter of Marque ), again a Royal Navy captain and even a ``rotten-borough'' M.P., is given command of the frigate Diane with orders to bring king's envoy Fox to conclude a treaty with the sultan of Borneo before Napoleon does. Aboard is Jack's friend Dr. Maturin, English secret agent and avid naturalist. After a placid trip (via Antarctica) and some stormy local politics (involving two English traitors and the sultan's catamite) the treaty is made. Fox's growing arrogance breeds ill will and when homeward-bound Diane hits a reef Jack gladly sends the envoy ahead in a cutter. O'Brian's style has been compared with Jane Austen's: even the dinners (in country house, London, ship's mess, sultan's palace, Buddhist monastery) are distinguished wittily. Perhaps the most charming segment is Maturin's idyllic stay in a remote valley, where he blissfully encounters and studies a variety of tame exotic beasts. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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