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"Jack's assignment: to capture the Indian Ocean islands of Réunion and Mauritius from the French. That campaign forms the narrative thread of this rollicking sea saga. But its substance is more beguiling still." —Elizabeth Peer, Newsweek
The year is 1810 and Great Britain is again at war with France. British naval officer Captain Jack Aubrey is ashore on half pay without a command, living in domestic bliss with his young family—until his friend Stephen Maturin arrives with secret orders for Aubrey to take a frigate to the Cape of Good Hope under a commodore’s pennant and mount an expedition against the French-held islands of Mauritius and La Réunion. But the difficulties of carrying out these orders are compounded by two of Aubrey’s own captains: Lord Clonfert, a pleasure-seeking dilettante, and Captain Corbett, whose severity pushes his crew to the verge of mutiny. Meanwhile, news from home that will change the course of Aubrey’s life struggles to reach him.