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The Richard and Adam Bolitho novels by Alexander Kent are published by Arrow Books in the United Kingdom and by McBooks Press in the United States and are available online and in fine bookshops. The titles are listed below in historical chronological order. UK editions are on the left and US editions are on the right.

FOR MY COUNTRY’S FREEDOM

It is March 1811, and Richard Bolitho is recalled to duty after only two and a half months of precious peace in Cornwall with his beloved mistress Catherine.
Promoted Admiral, his choice of flagship and flag captain shock the Admiralty, but Bolitho, poignantly aware of his own vulnerability, surrounds himself only with those men he can trust completely: the faithful Allday, the withdrawn and intelligent Avery, and James Tyacke, who must confront the sternest test of his loyalty with great personal courage. When diplomacy fails the cannon must speak, and Bolitho, patrolling the troubled waters from Antigua north to Halifax, knows that when war with America comes he must fight an enemy not foreign but familiar, for the freedom to leave the sea forever.


CROSS OF ST GEORGE

February of 1813 ... With convoys from Canada and the Caribbean falling victim to American privateers, Sir Richard Bolitho returns to Halifax to pursue a war he knows cannot be won, but which neither Britain nor the United States can afford to lose.
England's youngest admiral desires only peace. But peace will not be found in the icy Canadian waters, where a young, angry nation asserts its identity and men who share a common heritage die in close and bloody action. Nor will there be a peace for those who follow the Cross of St George: for the embittered Adam, mourning his lover and his ship, nor for Rear-Admiral Valentine Keen, who must confront grief and responsibility. There be no peace either from those enemies who use this struggle between nations as an instrument of personal revenge.


SWORD OF HONOUR

March 1814 ... Admiral Sir Richard Bolitho returns to England from several months' rigorous patrolling off the North American coast. War with the United States has not yet ended, but news of Napoleon's defeat and abdication has stunned a navy and a nation bled by years of European conflict.
Victory has been the impossible dream and now, for Bolitho, a vision of the future and a personal peace seems attainable. However an unsympathetic Admiralty dispatches him to Malta. Is this appointment a compliment or a malicious ploy to keep Bolitho from the woman he loves and the freedom he craves? He cannot know, but the voice of duty speaks more insistently even than the voice of the heart, and in this familiar sea where both glory and tragedy have touched his life, Bolitho must confront the future, the renaissance of a hated tyrant, and the fulfilment of destiny.


SECOND TO NONE

June 1815 ... ‘Peace or war, the requirements for this squadron remained unchanged. To protect, to show the flag, and to fight if necessary, to maintain that mastery of the sea which had been won with so much blood.’ On the eve of Waterloo, a sense of finality and cautious hope pervade a nation wearied by decades of war. But peace will present its own challenges to Adam Bolitho, captain of His Majesty's Ship Unrivalled, as many of his contemporaries face the prospect of discharge. The life of a frigate captain is always lonely, but for Adam, mourning the death of his uncle Admiral Sir Richard Bolitho, that solitude acquires a deeper poignancy. He is, more than ever, alone, at the dawning of a new age for the Royal Navy, where the only constants are the sea and those enemies, often masked in the guise of friendship, who conspire to destroy him.


RELENTLESS PURSUIT

December 1815 ... Adam Bolitho's orders are unequivocal. As captain of His Majesty's frigate Unrivalled of forty-six guns, he is required to 'repair in the first instance to Freetown, Sierra Leone, and reasonably assist the senior officer of the patrolling squadron'. But all efforts of the British anti-slavery patrols to curb a flourishing trade in human life are hampered by unsuitable ships, by the indifference of a government more concerned with old enemies made distrustful allies, and by the continuing belligerence of the Dey of Algiers, which threatens to ignite a full-scale war. For Adam, also, there is no peace. Lost in grief and loneliness, his uncle's death still unavenged, he is uncertain of all but his identity as a man of war. The sea is his element, the ship his only home, and a reckless, perhaps doomed attack on an impregnable stronghold his only hope of settling the bitterest of debts.


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Alexander Kent Novels