War has broken out again and Banks finds himself in command of a 74, Prometheus. Some of his officers are new creating tensions in the wardroom and many of the crew are pressed (wrongly?) and inexperienced. Throw in a stowaway and a former officer and Bond has come up with his usual eclectic mix of interesting characters from all decks.
The crew soon find themselves having to deal with a shipwrecked Indiaman and a privateer on their way to Gibraltar before Banks finds himself as senior officer of three ships having to deal with the arrival of a French squadron.
A very strong narrative of life aboard a 74 with plenty of naval action. The plot weaves the lives of the numerous characters together well in a fast paced, hard to put down, read.
The book and the series as a whole are highly recommended.