Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin, veterans of many battles, return in this novel to the seas they first sailed as shipmates. But Jack is now a senior captain commanding a line-of-battle ship sent out to reinforce the squadron blockading Toulon, and this is a longer, harder and colder war than the dashing frigate action of his early days.
A sudden turn of events takes him and Stephen off on a hazardous mission to the Greek islands. All his old skills of seamanship, and his proverbial luck when fighting against odds, come triumphantly into their own. The book ends with as fierce and thrilling action as any in this magnificent series of novels.