A rousing sea saga that will best charl a course for the Young Adult shelves, this is the tale of the English frigate Phalarope and its stiff upper upstanding young Captain, Richard Bolitho. The Phalarope is a jinxed shipload of mutinous malcontents when Bolitho assumes command under orders to sail against the French in the West Indies. Mr. Kent underscores the deckside dealings, the cantankerous and quixotic seamen and while it's no Bounty full of misery, it does give a lively impression of the tawdry conditions under which the King's Navy operated. Bolitho's heroic defense against an American raider (joined with the French) leaves ""little room for congratulations,"" particularly from his recalcitrant, suspicious commanding officer, a Rear Admiral. But before the many battles are done (with descriptions of strikingly horrendous magnitude) the Phalarope and her Captain have survived treachery, stupidity, even mutiny, and have achieved an enviable reputation. No barnacles on this one.