Nautical fiction adventure set during the age-of-sail. The year is 1803 and aboard HM Frigate, 'Perpetual', Captain Quintrell heads south to the Southern Ocean. His orders are to find a missing ship even if it means sailing all the way to Peru. But in order to complete his mission, he must face the challenges of the Horn, an unnerving discovery, French privateers, political intrigue and even deception and unrest amongst his own crew. THE TAINTED PRIZE is a classic age-of-sail nautical fiction adventure and the second in the series following FLOATING GOLD.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
The Tainted Prize is Margaret Muir's second book of the Oliver Quintrell series. After sending Captain Quintrell to the bottom of the world in pursuit of Floating Gold, the admiralty is confident in the good captain's discretion. It is 1803. The Peace of Amiens has collapsed. Captain Quintrell is given command of the frigate HMS Perpetual and is set off on a secret mission to South America to search for a missing frigate and to undertake a diplomatic mission that might impact the outcome of the war with Bonaparte and France. In addition to coping with French corvettes, privateers and slavers, Quintrell and the officers and crew of HMS Perpetual must also face the Southern Ocean and the winding and treacherous Straits of Magellan.
Tainted Prize is refreshing in that it isn't told strictly from the Olympian perspective of the quarterdeck. We also see the ship through the eyes of fourteen year old Tommy Wainwright, who joins the Perpetual after escaping working in the the coal...
These series of book are frustrating to read for a veteran reader of nautical fiction. The author, at times, makes the most basic of errors. One example is when Captain Quintrell states his mission is to find a ship of the line and proceeds to say its a 28 gun frigate. The most unforgivable error that caused me to write this review happens in the next book where the proper reply for the Captain was given for when the surgeon came aboard. Inexcusable.
The series also suffer from continuity issues where events are portrayed out if sequence or not even relevant to story. The author seems to like to write about her knowledge of the political and social issues of the times but they come out of context and interrupt the story. There are gaps in the story where you would like to read how the events unfolded but they are frustratingly absent.
I understand the growing process of an author but I don't expect that while reading a sample of the THIRD book that inexcusable...
Following on from Floating Gold but with a lot of new story lines this was hard to put down. I went back to it quite quickly and frequently even though I typically cool off on books and read many simultaneously. With this author I get engaged ... captivated ... and almost read it through in record time for me. I especially liked the fact that while I do not much like the main character he is interesting. In fact there are other secondary characters who are more likeable but a bit less interesting so there are good / bad combinations that create a dynamic I do not frequently encounter. Overall I highly recommend the trilogy to whose who like a good naval story with good characters and an interesting story beginning to end.
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