Genre: Historical Fiction, Nautical Fiction
Setting: At sea during the Napoleonic Wars
First Sentence: "Sir! Sir!" Midshipman Frey threw open the door of the captain's cabin with a precipitate lack of formality.
1805 is the sixth book of Woodman's Nathaniel Drinkwater series which extends to thirteen novels.
Our main character, Nathaniel Drinkwater, is in command of a frigate in Britain's royal navy. He, along with many other ships, are blockading French ports and the English Channel. There is a fear that Emperor Napoleon will attempt to invade England.
France possesses a more powerful army, but England has a better trained Navy. So, it is the duty of the English fleet to stop the invasion and defend England.
The year 1805 is a fateful one in English history. In this year, Admiral Nelson leads the fleet at the battle of Trafalgar. An English victory will destroy the combined French and Spanish fleet. An English defeat opens the door for an invasion.
Due to the machinations of Drinkwater's nemesis, the master spy Santhonax, Drinkwater becomes an observer rather than a participant in England's most famous battle. And, as a prisoner, Drinkwater experiences what battle is like for those who remain below deck during a naval battle.
This is a stand alone novel. Yet there are references to the action in the first five books of the series. Especially, Drinkwater's interactions with Santhonax and with Santhonax's wife. I suggest reading the novels in chronological order.
I liked this book. Nautical fiction set in the golden age of sail is a favorite genre for me. Lots of action, and the politics above and below decks. Give this series a read.