I read this book about 14-Aug-2005. I've read this book before. The book is copyright 1989. This note was last modified Tuesday, 06-May-2014 13:24:35 PDT.
This is book 13 of the "Aubrey-Maturin" series.
This note contains spoilers for the book.
Many of my editions around this point in the series are British first edition hardcovers. The paper is already yellowing, the glue in the binding (these have glued rather than sewn bindings) is coming apart. Have I mentioned lately that I'm really not that fond of hardcovers? They're heavy, hard to hold, and not that much more durable than a good mmpb. Of course, a good hardcover is very much more durable than an average mmpb.
Jack is reinstated and given the Diane (displacing her current captain) and sent on a mission with Steven; largely to give the lie to (correct) rumors that a very different mission was contemplated, where Steven would go urge the Spanish colonies in the New World to declare independence (rather than allying with the French).
They are to convey a special envoy, Fox, to Pulo Prabang, where he is to negotiate a treaty with the sultan. It's complicated by local politics, of course, and our acquaintances Wray and Ledward are here. In fact, Steven finally deals with them here, leaving only their protector back in London for a future book.
Steven also gets to visit the Budhist shrine in Kumai, very isolated and where the animals have never been molested. He makes friends with an orang-utan, and sees two rhinoceri playing.
And they end up stranded on an island with insufficient resources to support them all for long.