Beat to Quarters
was an interesting read, and I quite enjoyed it. It contains plenty of action and high-seas adventure and a cast of colorful and entertaining characters. There were a number of places where I wished I had a reference of nautical terminology (I am still
uncertain as to the exact state of a ship that is hove-to, for instance), but this did not dramatically affect my enjoyment of the text.
I'm not entirely
sure how I feel about the romance element between Horatio Hornblower and Lady Barbara. It seemed almost an afterthought in some respects, and it also seemed somewhat rushed. Plus, sailor or not, Hornblower is
married. It will be interesting to see how this plays out in later installments of the series.