AUTHOR: John Stack
PUBLISHER: HarperCollins Publishers Aust
IN 1588 Lord High Admiral Howard, Earl of Nottingham was at the zenith of his long naval career.
But he had never experienced war at sea and relied heavily on his subordinates.
Among these was a dashing privateer, Sir Francis Drake who contended that "the advantage of time and place in all martial actions is half a victory".
When the Spanish Armada entered the English Channel that fateful day, their campaign was already fatally flawed, out-sailed and out-gunned by the English and hampered by atrocious weather conditions.
There is plenty of high adventure and derring-do in John Stack's magnificently researched book of the Armada, a story that has captured the imagination of generations since.
He brings his characters, both English and Spanish vividly to life.
It was a time rife with treachery and intrigue against the Protestant Queen Elizabeth, the staunch defender of England's independence from Catholicism and former ally, the powerful Spanish King Philip.
The central character, Robert Varian, an officer in Drake's navy, must guard his secret -while loyal to the Queen, he is a Catholic and his beliefs are in conflict as he fights the mighty Spanish Armada.
You will find this gripping tale hard to put down.