George V. Reilly

Review: The Nutmeg of Consolation

The Nutmeg of Consolation
Title: The Nutmeg of Con­so­la­tion
Author: Patrick O’Brian
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½
Publisher: W.W. Norton
Copyright: 1991
Pages: 384
Keywords: historical fiction
Reading period: 22–26 November, 2009

At the end of The Thirteen-Gun Salute, Aubrey, Maturin, and the crew of the Diane were marooned on an East Indian island. They are rescued eventually by a passing junk and taken to Batavia, where the governor gives them a new ship, the Nutmeg of Con­so­la­tion. They resume their original mission and travel to the penal colony in New South Wales. Sydney is a hellhole, ruled by capricious sadists.

This is another fine entry in the long-running Aubrey–­Ma­turin saga. Seafaring, a long chase, a couple of battles, politics, and a great deal of naturalism occupy the pages de­light­ful­ly.

Highly rec­om­mend­ed.

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