Command A King's Ship

Command A King's Ship

(The Richard Bolitho adventures: 8): an enthralling and exciting Bolitho adventure from the master storyteller of the sea. You’ll want to dive right in!


Multi-million copy seller Alexander Kent, brings us another adrenalin-fuelled maritime page-turner full of swashbuckling action and derring-do. Fans of Patrick O'Brian and C. S. Forester will not be disappointed!

'The battle scenes are described so vividly that Alexander Kent must surely have been there himself in a previous incarnation' -- The Nautical Magazine

'As ever, Kent evokes the blood and smoke of battle in crimson-vivid prose' -- Mail on Sunday
'A tale of angry passion, envy and adventure' -- Bookseller
'Great story, great characters, plenty of action' -- ***** Reader review
'As usual, the master writer has done it again' -- ***** Reader review
'Could not put the book down once started'-- ***** Reader review
'Wonderful' -- ***** Reader review

1784: at a time when most of the fleet is laid up, His Majesty's frigate Undine weighs anchor at Spithead to begin a voyage to India and far beyond. As her new captain, Richard Bolitho is glad to go, despite the nature of his orders and the immensity of the voyage - for he is leaving an England still suffering from the aftermath of war.

But he is to learn that signatures on proud documents do not necessarily make a lasting peace, and finds himself involved in a conflict as ruthless as the one which had given him his first command during the war with France.

In an uneasy peace, the expansion of trade and colonial development in little-known areas of the East Indies soon push aside the pretence and bring the guns' fury into the open.

There is no set line of battle or declared cause to rally Undine's small company, but the dangers and the endless demands have to be faced by the man who commands the only King's ship available.

Bolitho's adventures continue in Passage to Mutiny.

About the author

Alexander Kent

Alexander Kent's great interest in the ships and men of the eighteenth century navy was aroused when he was still at school. Although he attended fleet reviews and explored modern warships and dockyards with his father, he found that the great days of square riggers and battles at close quarters captured his imagination. H.M.S. Victory, Nelson's flagship at Trafalgar, was always high on his list of regular visits.

He served in the Royal Navy as a young man, and saw action in the Battle of the Atlantic and other major theatres of war, but his first love of the great days of sail remained unshaken.

Now firmly established as a leading writer of authentic sea stories, he was the author of twenty-eight acclaimed books featuring Richard Bolitho. Under his own name, Douglas Reeman, and in the course of a career spanning forty-five years, he wrote over thirty novels and two non-fiction books. He died in January 2017.
Learn More

Sign up to the Penguin Newsletter

For the latest books, recommendations, author interviews and more