This is as good as Beat to Quarters and better than Ship of the Line, though not so frankly nautical as either. It is the third of the trilogy, and closely knit to the others in characters and story, though eminently readable on its own merits. It picks up Hornblower's adventures from the point where he is prisoner to the French in Spain, and at last, after long months of adventure and misadventure, he gets the breaks those who love him want for him. His adventures this time are inland -- overland -- and by river to the sea, but there is another grand sea fight once he reaches the water, and the interest is well sustained to the end. Escape reading -- the best of its kind.