The second installment of the gripping naval saga by award-winning historian James L. Haley, featuring Commander Bliven Putnam, chronicling the build up to the biggest military conflict between the United States and Britain after the Revolution—the War of 1812.
At the opening of the War of 1812, the British control the most powerful navy on earth, and Americans are again victims of piracy. Bliven Putnam, late of the Battle of Tripoli, is dispatched to Charleston to outfit and take command of a new 20-gun brig, the USS Tempest. Later, aboard the Constitution, he sails into the furious early fighting of the war.
Prowling the South Atlantic in the Tempest, Bliven takes prizes and disrupts British merchant shipping, until he is overhauled, overmatched, and disastrously defeated by the frigate HMS Java. Its captain proves to be Lord Arthur Kington, whom Bliven had so disastrously met in Naples. On board he also finds his old friend Sam Bandy, one of the Java's pressed American seamen kidnapped into British service. Their whispered plans to foment a mutiny among the captives may see them hang, when the Constitution looms over the horizon for one of the most famous battles of the War of 1812 in a gripping, high-wire conclusion. With exquisite detail and guns-blazing action, A Darker Sea illuminates an unforgettable period in American history.
About the Author
James L. Haley is the award-winning author of the Bliven Putnam Naval Adventure series, including A Darker Sea and The Shores of Tripoli, as well as numerous books on Native American, Texas, and Western history, and historical and contemporary fiction. His two biographies Sam Houston (2002) and Wolf: The Lives of Jack London (2010), each won the Spur Award from the Western Writers of America. Passionate Nation: The Epic History of Texas (2006) won the Fehrenbach Award of the Texas Historical Commission. His most recent nonfiction is Captive Paradise: A History of Hawaii (2014).
“Haley is an erudite historian who can craft fiction so real that you're ready to pull the grapeshot-packed 18-pounder's lanyard… Another real-enough-to-be-true, rollicking tale from the days of sail and sword.” — Kirkus Reviews
“Haley’s enthralling blend of well-drawn characters, nautical combat, and period detail will appeal to both Patrick O’Brian and American history enthusiasts.” — Booklist
“[O]ne discovers many little-known facts in this exciting and informative book. …Strongly recommended.” — Historical Novels Review
“The history is thoroughly researched, the fiction inventive, the style at once easygoing and rapid….This is a marvelous and richly enjoyable novel, and the intended series to follow promises to do for the American Navy and the Marines what C.S. Forester and Patrick O’Brian did for the Royal Navy….More, please.” –Wall Street Journal on The Shores of Tripoli