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In 1850, British captain, Philip Blackwood and his Royal Marines embark on a mission to destroy the strongholds of the slave trade in West Africa
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Africa, 1850 ... This is the first book in the Blackwood saga. It has been more than forty years after slaveholding and slave trading became illegal for British subjects. With slavery still flourishing, Captain Philip Blackwood and his Royal Marines have received orders to sail to West Africa on a dangerous mission - against incredible odds, he and his charges must eliminate the strongholds of slavery in this treacherous territory. When Captain Blackwood rejoins his ship, HMS Audacious, it is peacetime, and although sometimes engaged in small overseas campaigns, the world's mightiest navy has settled into a routine of tradition and ceremonial. With the coming of the steam age many younger officers are pressing for change and modernisation, whereas their superiors for the most part see coal-fired ships as a challenge to their own power. Captain Blackwood soon discovers there is more to leading his men than holding firm in the line of battle. Love, hate, ambition, and envy are forces with which he must contend. In the heat of Africa, and later in the bitter Crimean War, these obstacles become an even greater threat than the enemy to the success of the campaigns.
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