Richard Bolitho’s sea saga sets sail in this mini-prequel to the 26-volume Midshipman Bolitho series.
It’s 1774, and the intrepid hero of the sturdy series (Man of War, 2003, etc.) is facing a test that has his stomach jumping. He’s about to appear before a three-man board that will decide if Midshipman Bolitho is worthy of receiving the King’s commission; that is, if he’s eligible to become a lieutenant in the royal navy. Bolitho’s very young, not quite 18, and very nervous, and yet he knows his worth. He is, after all, in one sense at least, a grizzled veteran, having been at sea since he was 12. Still, as he steps off the Gorgon—his two-decker home for the past year and a half—and heads for Poseidon, the fleet’s flagship, he’s aware that the session ahead is likely to be grueling, and that a fair percentage of applicants fail to make the cut. Will Midshipman Bolitho measure up? Bolitho always measures up, of course, whatever the dicey situation, no matter the ill-tempered provocation—whether contending with an egotistical, mean-spirited superior officer or knowing exactly how to solve the knotty problem created by a ship-load of vicious, armed smugglers. Trust Bolitho to tackle insurmountable odds.
Not much on nuance but full of rousing sea action.