Shipwrecked on a remote island, Captain Aubrey and the crew of the Diane fashion a schooner from the wreck, only to have their makeshift vessel burned in an attack by Malay pirates. Their escape from this predicament is one that only the ingenuity of Patrick O'Brian - or Stephen Maturin - could devise. The dreadful penal colony in New South Wales, harrowingly described, is the backdrop to a diplomatic crisis provoked by Maturin's Irish temper, and to a near-fatal encounter with the wildlife of the Australian outback.
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The fourteenth installment of Patrick O'Brian's hugely successful Aubrey/Maturin series.