On an urgent mission to foil French plans in Pulo Prabang, Stephen and Jack are driven more than ever by the naval urgency of ‘lose not a minute’. The thirteenth installment of the Aubrey-Maturin series.
‘As entertaining as its predecessors. O’Brian is a master of the narrative of action, but he has sustained interest through this long sequence of novels by expanding the genre to which they belong so that it can include much else besides’
For Jack Aubrey restoration to the sacred Navy List seems close – he has charming promises from Lord Melville – but political favour is always uncertain, and so he and Stephen Maturin set out in the dear Surprise, bound for Chile and Peru to help the fledgling independence movement there. Since Spain is one of Britain’s allies, her government is furious when a high-placed mole betrays this plan – fortunately this is the spur the government needs and Jack is reinstated and ostentatiously given a very different objective: to convey a British mission to Malaysia. The French mission is already there – led by none other than the traitor Ledward. It is time for Stephen’s long-maturing revenge to be played out – amongst an almost virgin earthly paradise of exactly the flora and fauna that most delight him.
‘Bears I have borne, sir, and badgers . . .’ said Mrs Broad, her arms folded over a formal black silk dress. ‘It was only a very small bear,’ said Stephen, ‘and long ago.’
Master and Commander
The Mauritius Command
The Fortune of War
The Surgeon's Mate
The Ionian Mission
The Far Side of the World
The Reverse of the Medal
The Letter of Marque
The Nutmeg of Consolation
The Wine-Dark Sea
The Yellow Admiral
The Hundred Days
Blue at the Mizzen
Read more about the life and work of Patrick O'Brian here
The partnership between Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin is at the heart of Patrick O’Brian’s masterful series. Beyond the beautifully textured period setting and the thrilling skirmishes and naval battles (many based on real events), the popularity of the novels stems from these two engaging, intriguing protagonists, with Aubrey’s passionate nature providing a marvellous foil for Maturin’s more enigmatic character. Two centuries may separate us from them, but O’Brian creates an utterly compelling portrait of two men and a world at war.
‘A brilliant achievement. These novels display staggering erudition on almost all aspects of early 19th-century life’
In 1991, an article appeared in The New York Times entitled ‘An Author I’d Walk the Plank For’. Like millions of readers around the world, the writer, Richard Snow, had become addicted to Patrick O’Brian’s Aubrey–Maturin series. Set against the sprawling canvas of the Napoleonic Wars, O’Brian’s naval adventure novels evoke this period in history like no others. Their success is down to the vim and vigour of O’Brian’s prose, his extraordinary eye for period detail and his ear for language. In Snow’s words: ‘O’Brian summoned up with casual omniscience the workaday magic of a vanished time.’
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