Commodore Hornblower (Paperback)
The year is 1812. Hornblower has been ordered to do everything possible, diplomatically and militarily, to protect the Baltic trade and to stop the spread of Napoleon's empire into Sweden and Russia. Though he has set sail a hero, one misstep may ruin his chances of every becoming an admiral.
Hornblower must find his way through a maze of perils -- hostile armies, seductive Russian royalty, ice-bound waterways, assassins in the imperial palace -- before he can return home to his beloved new wife and son, as his instructions are to sacrifice every man and ship under his command rather than surrender ground to Napoleon.
"Hornblower is Hamlet in command of a battleship." --New York Times