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Summary

The year is 1840. Twenty-three years ago, Horatio Lord Hornblower was governor of the island of St. Helena and hailer to its only prisoner, Napoleon Bonaparte. First mutual respect, and later shared tragedy, forged a clandestine friendship between the two men. 

Now King Louis Philippe of France has requested that the remains of the late emperor be returned, and Queen Victoria has granted that request. The French have also requested that the former Governor Lord Hornblower attend the exhumation as the official British representative! Hornblower knows the situation is a veritable powder keg; the Ultra-Royalists, led by the ruthless Duke of Angouleme, will stop at nothing to prevent Bonaparte’s remains from returning to France, while the Bonapartists, led by the late emperor’s nephew Louis-Napoleon, hope to use the return to stage a coup and establish a renewed French Empire. However, that would cause Tsar Nicholas of Russia to declare war and invade France! 

Hornblower must do his utmost to ensure the mortal remains reach French shores safely to pay a debt he has owed for over 20 years.

©2021 James Keffer (P)2022 Penmore Press

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A really great listen.

This has got to be one of the most professionally produced books I have ever listened to. I am not a fan of sound effects in audio books but in this one they work brilliantly. This is the first book I have read by either author or narrator and both are outstanding IMPO. The story is exciting from start to finish with well defined and likeable characters all brought to life by Nigel Peever. There is humour and emotions in abundance. Throw in a very exciting sea battle with cannonballs being thrown about in large quantities and you've got a real page turner. I can't wait to listen to the rest of the books in this series. Well worth 10 stars if that were possible. **********!
I was kindly given a copy of the book by the narrator and leave this honest and unbiased review!

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Keffer misses the mark this time...

Although technically being part of the Lt. Brewer series this novel features him more as a side character than main protagonist. The focus is mainly on Hornblower himself and the shenanigans surrounding the "Retour des Cendres" of Napoleon Bonaparte. Unlike the previous novels this one is a much slower pace and has only one notable sea battle (chapter 14). We do find out what has happened to many of Brewer's compatriots over the intervening years but this novel will leave you yearning for the good old days. Hopefully the next Brewer novel will bring him back to the forefront.

Nigel Peever's narration is as awesome as ever. The auditory picture he paints through the use of sound effects alongside the myriad of character voices at his disposal always astounds. You know it's going to be quality when his name is attached to an audiobook.

1 person found this helpful