The Windjammer family business is ruined when their fleet of merchant ships is destroyed, leaving them at the mercy of the bankers and unable to fulfil their obligations to their employees. As Hercules Windjammer dies from the shock of the disaster, Adam becomes head of the family at the age of fifteen and must face up to the greater and greater difficulties which face the business and consequently the family’s well-being, including that of his mother and young twin sisters.

A well-paced story with a cast of fleshed-out main characters and some good supporting ones, conveying a taste of what choices were open to a young man of fifteen who has to try to save his family from ruin. The historical detail is well-sketched without being overwhelming.

Tim Golden is a computer programmer living in London. This review first appeared on his site