Originally Posted by The Procrastinator
All lovers of historical fiction, I heartily recommend Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey/Maturin series. Set in the British Navy during the Napoleonic wars, following the trials, tribulations, adventures, disasters and unlikely friendship of two men - sea-captain Aubrey, and Irish-Catalan physician and naturalist Maturin.
The series begins with "Master and Commander" and goes on forever, or so you wish once you get hooked. The research is exhaustive and completely convincing, the writing beautiful, historically accurate and highly evocative (I swear I could smell the sea at times while reading) and the characterisation masterful. Full of the observation of life, from the wry to the tragic and heartwrenching to the absurd and laugh-out-loud, these books are true jewels - just like life.
Couldn't agree more. I just finished The Fortune of War
. I'm taking them in order. Hard to believe, but they keep getting better. Next up, The Surgeon's Mate