1813, and Horatio Hornblower is propelled toward the heart of the French Empire and his old enemy, Napoleon . . . Sir Horatio Hornblower has received strict and highly confidential orders from the highest rank: he must embark upon a grave and perilous mission to recapture the Flame in the Bay of Seine, where the brutal and foul-tempered Lieutenant Augustine Chadwick is being held prisoner by a mutinous crew. Rescuing the Lieutenant demands all of Horatio’s spirit and seafaring prowess – for at the same time, he must contend with capturing two French cargo vessels and take part in negotiations to topple the faltering Napoleon once and for all . . . This is the ninth of eleven books chronicling the adventures of C.S. Forester’s inimitable nautical hero, Horatio Hornblower.
C. S. Forester was born in Cairo in 1899, where his father was stationed as a government official. He studied medicine at Guy's Hospital, and after leaving Guy's without a degree he turned to writing as a career. On the outbreak of war he entered the Ministry of Information and later he sailed with the Royal Navy to collect material for The Ship. He made a voyage to the Bering Sea to gather material for a similar book on the United States Navy, and it was during this trip that he was stricken with arteriosclerosis, a disease which left him crippled. However, he continued to write and in the Hornblower novels created the most renowned sailor in contemporary fiction. He died in 1966.