Following the loss of his fiancée, Lieutenant Thomas Kydd descends into depression in this installment of the riveting nautical-adventure series. Rescued from despair by his close friend Renzi, Kydd finds life increasingly difficult when he is framed and dismissed from his ship. The pair eke out a pitiful existence in Guernsey, where, in a moment of desperation, Renzi offers his services to the Prince de Bouillon and becomes embroiled in covert operations. Meanwhile, Kydd accepts the captaincy of a privateer and is soon taking many prizes. Kydd longs to rejoin his rightful place in the navy, however, and when he gets his chance, he risks all for revenge and restoration.