I loved this book. Loved the hero's situation. I would read a sequel to this in a flash!
Here's my review from Amazon:
Lt. Charles Hayden is an able officer who has gained the respect of the men he's served with, however, he sees his fellows promoted over him as he has no influence and he may be tainted by being half-French. He's stymied on land as well as sea, as there is someone he might fall in love with if only he had some hope of prospects. When Hayden is called before the First Secretary of the Admiralty, it's not for a captaincy, alas, but a position no man should consider taking-- a first lieutenancy aboard a bad luck ship with a tyrant of a Captain who is suspected of being shy of battle, and being required to make reports back to the First Secretary. Hayden wishes to refuse, but it is made clear that to refuse would be the end of any hope of a career in the Navy.
Hayden reports aboard the frigate, Themis, to find an absent captain who is too connected to be touched, and a near-mutinous crew. On the last voyage a crewman had been murdered and not long after he arrives another crewman was found badly beaten. Making an enemy of his captain goes totally against Hayden's grain, and yet he cannot help but gain the enmity of a captain who will not engage the enemy and will flog his men at a whim. Despite everything stacked against him, or perhaps because of it, there are still exciting captures of ships and battles and dangerous spying in enemy territory, with Hayden's ability to speak flawless French coming in handy.
Suspense and adventure and a fractious crew, uncertain officers, true friends and mentors, and a conflicted hero all add up to a great read. This is an impressive debut of what one hopes will be an exciting series of sea tales.
posted 3 years ago. ( permalink )