Captain Caution, the final installment of the Chronicles of Arundel series, is markedly different from the other five Roberts novels I have read so far. In some ways, it is the best.
Because it is written in third person instead of first, the lead character, Dan Marvin, can be developed very slowly. Early on, Marvin seems like a secondary character. As the action progresses, he becomes a reticent and hesitant protagonist. But he evetually emerges as likeable, resourceful, heroic, and uniquely American. This character, dubbed "Captain Caution" by his crew, really grows on you.
The novel despite its compactness, provides plenty of rich scenery, most notable being the prison hulk prize fight between Marvin and Little White, which jumps off the page.
Character development is, as always, superb. Argandeau, Marvin's colorful French sidekick, is among the very best of Roberts' characters, and the slave ship captain, Slade, is so subtly villainous that it's hard work not to like him a little, drooping eyelid and all. And Corunna is portrayed with such a careful balance of delicacy and depth that she is at once physically ethereal and emotionally strong, typical of Roberts' heroines.
If you could choose only one of Kenneth Roberts' fine novels, this wouldn't be the one most people (including me) would recommend. Nevertheless, it is one of the best novels I have ever read, and you're not likely to stop at one anyway, so enjoy!