Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey-Maturin tales are widely acknowledged to be the greatest series of historical novels ever written. To commemorate the 40th anniversary of their beginning, with Master and Commander, these evocative stories are being re-issued in paperback with smart new livery. This is the eighth book in the series.Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin, veterans of many battles, return in this novel to the seas where 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, 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 an action as any in this magnificent series of novels.