The Hornblower saga is an established favorite with older boys (and girls as well) and this -- which fills the gap between Mr. Midshipman Hornblower (1950) and the adventures recounted in Heat to Quarter (1937) will round out a portrait of a hero of the naval wars against Spain and France in the days of Napoleon. Young Hornblower, a more fifth lieutenant, has the imagination and energy and daring that turned circumstances to his uses. There's a sort of situation here, in terms of the British Navy 150 years ago, and a mad captain is made incapacitated, and the younger officers take over. A battle which turns defeat to victory, against the Spanish in the Caribbean, a subsequent blocking of the efforts of prisoners to take over an undermanned ship, both come from Hornblower's quick wit and action. A period of thin pickings during a lull in international tension puts both Hornblower and his pal Bush on the rocks, but threat of war comes just in time to save their careers from extinction. Good adventure in a grand tale of sea warfare.