Nelson's Reviews > The Fortune of War

The Fortune of War by Patrick O'Brian
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's review
Jul 20, 2011

really liked it
Read from July 20 to 28, 2011

Another four star winner. The damn things are so consistent, yet varied as well. For the money, this one has more suspense than the previous five by far, and Aubrey isn't even in command of a vessel in this novel. It's another book given over more to Maturin and his spycraft. And yet the final third of the novel features some deft maneuvering by Aubrey, both on land and at sea. The pages really fly by in this one. O'Brian's solution to the problem of tying his protagonists in to real world events is to make them passengers on real ships, present at real events. The spycraft stuff allows him to further the plots of his own characters--and it should come as absolutely no surprise that O'Brian brilliantly weaves the two strains together. A measure of his skill, perhaps, is that one roots so hard for his protagonists that (at least in this reader's case) you end up rooting against the home team. And for those keeping track, this novel features the return of the wonderful Diana Villiers and ends with what looks like some kind of permanent rapprochement between her and Maturin; presumably the following novels tell the tale of whether this alliance holds or not.
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