There is a fine line between privateer and pirate, between friend and foe.
With a beleaguered Britain already facing war on two fronts - against Napoleon's armies in Europe but also against the young and vigorous United States - the objective of ship's surgeon and spy Stephen Maturin is to light the touch paper of Peruvian revolutionary fervour, all while Captain Jack Aubrey engages with their many and varied enemies at sea.
Will revolution in South America tip the balance Britain's way?
'The truth is that we aficionados scarcely feel them to be novels at all. They are a world of their own, a world full of excitement, mystery, charm and good manners of which we have ourselves become participating citizens.'
JAN MORRIS, Observer
'[O'Brian] goes on that very small shelf reserved for authors who, disregarding aptitudes, spin a story out of the heart and soul of their experience and the joy of living.'
Times Literary Supplement
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