This book covers the final years of the Napoleonic Wars and the 100 days, and as you might expect from the title is mainly set in the Baltic, an area of British Naval activity that is largely unexplored in fiction. It is a story of shifting political alliances and espionage as Bernadotte comes to power in Sweden and Napoleon seeks to stifle trade with the Continental Blockade. The Navy must steer a diplomatic path to continue it’s vital trade and at the same time protect it with force in the narrow seas between Sweden and Denmark. As Napoleon invades Russia enemies become friends and allegiances change.
Into this maelstrom steps Captain Petroc Gray, commander of HMS Kestrel, who makes a powerful and influential friend and contact when he rescues the Freiherr von Dieffenbach and his family. This book has an interesting, well written and nicely paced plot which includes a little of everything – naval action, storms, trade, espionage and romance – as it explores the day to day life of Petroc over several years.
Another narrative from this author which I thoroughly enjoyed. Recommended.