Written by Julian Stockwin
Review by Mike Ashworth

1807: Napoleon has turned his attention to Portugal. Sir Thomas Kydd is ordered to Lisbon to assist in the evacuation of the Portuguese royal family. There, in the chaos of the evacuation, he meets Persephone Lockwood, daughter of an Admiral and a ghost from his past. On his return to England, he takes advantage of his reputation and uses the opportunity to move into the highest echelons of society. The Prince of Wales asks him to take temporary command of the royal yacht. While sailing to Yarmouth Kydd realises they are being stalked by French privateers. Can he avoid the disgrace that capture of the Prince would bring?

With a tight plot, strong characters, and exciting action sequences, Stockwin’s army of fans will devour this with relish. If, like me, your sailing experience is limited to the ferry between the UK and France, there is still a lot to enjoy in this novel. The author’s naval knowledge is extensive, and adds to the overall enjoyment, while the descriptions of life at the highest level add another dimension. Although one of a series, it can be read as a stand-alone. Load the cannon, splice the mainbrace—and enjoy! Recommended.