Fiction. Historical Fiction. HTML: Napoleon has been defeated at Waterloo, but the ensuing peace becomes ugly for Captain Jack Aubrey, with violent celebrations of the English sailors in Gibraltar and the desertion of nearly half his crew. To cap it all off, the Surprise is nearly sunk one night in a shattering collision on the first leg of her journey to South America, where Jack and his friend Stephen Maturin are to help Chile assert her independence from Spain. The delay for repairs reaps a harvest of strange consequences, and the South American expedition is a desperate affair, starting with near disaster in the ice-choked seas far south of the Horn. In the end, Jack, again the daring frigate commander of old, stakes all on a desperate solo night raid against the might of the Spanish viceroy in Peru. Jack's bold initiative to strike at the vastly superior Spanish fleet precipitates a spectacular naval action that will determine both Chile's fate and his own..
Would not recommend reading this, though, without reading the first 19 books in the series...
This book had some slow spots and sme contrived plot scenerios, however overall it was not a bad last novel. The series held up pretty well
In Chile, Jack finds conflicting orders, but works to aid the local juntas, in particular the Supreme Director, General Bernardo O’Higgins, and Colonel Eduardo Valdes, a cousin of Maturin’s. Maturin and Dr. Jacob learn that the Peruvian forces, loyal to the Spanish king, plan to invade Chile, so they confront them at Valdivia, bombarding a fort and seizing gold, silver, and other supplies. Despite the success, local sentiment turns against the British to the point that the junta plans to impound Surprise, so Aubrey makes a plan to cut out the Peruvian frigate Esmeralda, strengthen the Chilean navy, and thereby build up goodwill. The plan works, though Aubrey is wounded. As he recovers, Stephen and Dr. Jacob send word to Sir Joseph while Ringle brings the news to Valparaiso. Despite much celebration, Aubrey insists that his sailors must be paid or depart, and Don Miguel Carrera, the president of the Valparasio junta, authorizes the first of the funds. Aubrey begins training the Chilean navy as Surprise surveys the coast, while orders arrive for Aubrey to repair to HMS Implacable in the River Plate, take command of the South African squadron, and hoist his pennant as Rear Admiral of the Blue. Carrera states that it will take longer to complete the payments, so Aubrey respectfully departs Chile and accepts his long-sought promotion.
Blue at the Mizzen has all the character moments fans of this series have come to love, with Horatio Hanson being a fine addition to the crew. Stephen’s time with Christine Wood offers some moments of joy following his sorrow in the previous novel. Like The Yellow Admiral and The Hundred Days, O’Brian discusses the effects of changing land policy, specifically enclosure, and how the war’s end impacts not just sailors and soldiers, but every level of the British economy that had been on a war-footing for two decades. Though O’Brian did not intend this as his final novel, its publication a mere two months before his death made it so. As such, it will bring fans joy with the promise of happiness for the two characters that have led the series over its twenty novels. This Folio Society edition reprints the original text with insets containing historical portraits and sketches to illustrate some of the scenes and an endpaper map centered on the Atlantic Ocean, with several labeled cities from throughout the series and an inset of the tip of South America.
Will never be matched.