Treason’s Harbour by Patrick O’Brian


Mad Mountain Man
Jun 29, 2010
Scottish Highlands
This is the ninth book in O’Brian’s Aubrey and Maturin books. Aubrey is still in the Mediterranean at Malta but currently without a ship as the Surprise awaits repair in the harbour and where Maturin continues to conduct his usual secretive operations. From Malta he is dispatched on a couple of diplomatic missions of really no great import.

Following on from the last book which, in my view, was the poorest book in the series so far, Treason’s harbour just about manages to improve on it but not enough to win any prizes. There is still much navel gazing and self-doubt from both Aubrey and Maturin, which is beginning to get a little tedious, and this time there is very little action to balance it. A slow ponderous start drags the reader nearly a third of the way through the book before we even get to sea. Whilst the story had its moments, it never really got going for me and the ending left most of the interesting threads hanging unresolved.

An uninspiring and unsatisfactory instalment in an otherwise excellent series. Sadly I suspect the next volume is going to be more taken up with Aubrey’s financial position than his military one; an exercise I don’t expect to be of the greatest excitement and ultimately excitement is a large part of the motivation for reading these books.

2/5 stars

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