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"The Hornblower series are such entertaining reading. I have gotten friends and family hooked on these books and we are reading them all."
Julia E. Riley
"The Hornblower novels are in my opinion the best naval adventure series in all of literature and "Hotspur" is one of the very best of the series. What more can one say?"
Roger J. Buffington
Read an excerpt (opens in a new tab)
April 1803. Here is Hornblower who, directly after his wedding ceremony, is ordered to take his ship, the HMS Hotspur, to observe the French coast, Channel ports, and around to the Bay of Biscay. This, his first command as Master and Commander, gives ample opportunity to help thwart the ambitions of Napoleon, who is building ships and amassing supplies for an attempt to cross the Channel and invade England. In this novel, the longest of the Hornblower Saga, Hornblower at 27 has already had adventures which have brought him praise and notice. And with the Hotspur his exploits tumble one after the other. Reconnaissance, daring shore raids, cutting out expeditions and skillful navigating in treacherous tidal waters bring the reality of the blockade to the fore.
And all the while the introspective and lonely Hornblower worries about his relationship with his wife and mother-in-law -- in stark contrast to his sureness when carrying out his objectives to annoy the French and bring destruction to their military plans.