Alexander Kent is often compared to C.S. Forester, and the Bolitho books are a worthy successor to Hornblower's adventures. Richard Bolitho is somewhat like Hornblower, a sensitive, humanitarian officer, who often goes beyond the letter of his orders to storm his way to victory. He forms a lifelong friendship with Thomas Herrick, who first appears in the series and in this book, as Bush is a friend to Hornblower, but there are a number of differences. We see a lot more of Bolitho's family than we ever knew of Hornblower, his dad, who has been retired by injuries from the sea, a family with a long tradition of seamen, a brother who deserts and comes back to haunt Richard's path, and more family down the road. But one thing that dominates these books, and those who have run out of Hornblower books to read will love, is a wonderfully rich description of life on sailing ships in the Royal Navy, although this book, the earliest written, leaves us at the end with something of an anti-climax at the battle of the Saintes. That would really be my only criticism--but it is a wonderfully exciting tale of derring-do. Bolitho even has to contend, not just with a ship that has run away from battle at the start, before he assumed command, but he has to keep his ship from mutiny again as the story unfolds. I like Bolitho, I think, almost as well as Hornblower.