I'm hooked on these now--no warm-up here, I enjoyed it from the start. In this volume they travel to India--great descriptive passages. Stephen Maturin becomes a more & more sympathetic character, and his unrequited love for Diana Villiers (what a fool she is!) is heart-wrenching. Jack Aubrey takes command of yet another ship, and we get to watch his instant loyalty and love for it, as well as his ability to bring the crew together. Lots of good subtext about leadership. My favorite part: Maturin's difficult recovery from a fever turns the corner after he finds a new species of land tortoise. There's a great bit also about a sloth he brings on board, which sleeps in the rigging.