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In the rush to return home on his bike, Oliver is set upon by his twin brother and his gang.
Oliver is thrown from his bicycle and as he flies through the air, he closes his eyes tightly. He
hits the deck with a thump and opens his eyes; he believes he has gone blind as he is
surrounded by complete darkness and he's confused as he feels the ground beneath him gently moving. An unseen figure grabs the lad and drags him into the light. Oliver is surrounded by sailors in the Georgian Navy.
This is just the start for our hero as without a plausible reason for being on board the ship, he is
accused of being a stow-away and is harshly punished. Oliver quickly adapts to life on board
his new home, HMS Hades. The perilous journey sees him save a boy’s life in an unusual
way, a little chap who will become very significant in the fullness of time.

We see Oliver become adopted by a group of hardened sailors, fight pirates as the Hades patrols the treacherous Caribbean seas, learn to ride horses, as well as becoming a valuable member of the gun crew. In addition, he becomes steward to the ship’s commander and makes a deep
impression on both the commander and the ship's surgeon. 
The Napoleonic Wars are raging on continental Europe and Britain finds herself struggling to survive. We get a glimpse of the harsh Georgian life. Oliver works hard during the almost oppressive regime, becoming a valuable member of the crew, as he does so he attracts the attention, and approval, of the senior officers; who in turn push for his advancement in the service.
On the arrival of HMS Hades into Portsmouth, Oliver and his mess are quickly transferred to one of the worlds most famous first-rate ships, HMS Victory. His early days onboard this illustrious ship bring him into contact with, and almost fall foul of, its most famous master Vice Admiral, Lord Horatio Nelson. As the fleet prepare for battle action, Oliver finds himself readying to participate in the battle of Trafalgar...


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