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Will Napoleon Bonaparte form an alliance with the Malay princes of the South China Sea? Not if Jack Aubrey can help it. Conveying a diplomatic mission to the Sultan's court, Aubrey and company must also contend with orangutans, typhoons, and a squadron of wily French envoys.
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.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
O'Brien wrote 20 excellent stories with marvelous details of shipboard life and travels of very likable characters sailing for England in the early 1800s. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Gary S.
This is a quick book, lots of movement, not a lot of "down time" and ends in a cliff hanger.
I don't understand how anyone can read these books out of order. Read more
Arguably the best historical fiction of an any age and genre. Painstakingly researched, lovingly written, eminently readable, genuine page turners, each and every one.Published 5 months ago by UrbanMonique