In this prequel to the acclaimed series, the hapless Otto Prohaska begins his career in the Austro-Hungarian Navy with great expectations—and manages to capitalize on good luck turned bad as only an aspiring officer of the Hapsburg Empire can.
This time a fellow cadet breaks his leg, and Otto seizes the chance to take his place on a scientific expedition bound for disaster. Aboard the SMS Windischgrätz, in the last days of the great sailing ships, Otto learns the ropes as well as the latest scientific theories of European superiority. It’s touch and go on the high seas, but even sinister quack scientists, a failed colony in Africa, and angry South Sea cannibals bent on destruction cannot keep the resourceful cadet from his patriotic duty to spread Hapsburg civilization wherever he goes.
Trade Paperback, 384 pages
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“Stark realism and finely crafted humor. . . . compelling reading.” —Library Journal
“Biggins writes with a fine sense of the sea and a truly marvelous wit.”—Booklist