The penultimate book in Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey-Maturin series, The Hundred Days, is an unfortunate disappointment. Set during Napoleon's escape from Elba, its plot is illogical on its face, and its personal-level developments are disturbingly unsatisfactory.
The book opens with news of a major off-screen personal happening, which I disliked strongly both for its form and its content. It then moves into the political/military plot: a Muslim conspiracy is afoot to hire a mercenary army to disrupt the joining of the allies against Napoleon. Jack and Stephen are to prevent the passage of a large sum of gold that will fund the mercenaries. Even without knowing anything detailed about the course of the Napoleonic Wars, however, this adventure ends up not making much sense on its own terms, and feels somewhat repetitive besides. This is only compounded by the extremely rushed feel of the conclusion. In short, I hope this is the low point of the series.
A spoiler post follows.
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