In C.S. Forester's novel The Commodore, Horatio Hornblower plays a major role in the later stages of the Napoleonic Wars.
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In 1812, Hornblower is delighted to finally receive a challenging mission after several months of boredom ashore. He is given the rank of commodore, a ship of the line and various smaller vessels, and the delicate task of trying to bring neutrals Sweden and Russia into the war on Britain's side against Napoleon.
On the way to Russia, Hornblower chases and sinks a French privateer, even though the latter seeks the protection of Sweden waters. When he arrives in Moscow, he has to prevent the assassination of both Czar Alexander and the King of Sweden by Hornblower's own interpreter (a Finnish exile with grudges against both) without anyone noticing during a reception.
When Napoleon finally invades Russia, Hornblower is ordered to help defend Riga against the French. He does so both by sea and by land. With the onset of winter, Napoleon is forced into a disastrous retreat from Moscow. When his forces at Riga also withdraw, Hornblower persuades the Prussian rearguard to switch sides. He then contracts typhus, which is ravaging the French armies, but recovers and returns home to his wife and son.
Best part of story, including ending:
Any Hornblower story is a good one, without exception.
Best scene in story:
When Hornblower goes to London to receive his orders, he feels a guilty pleasure from staying at an expensive inn, a result of all his years of poverty.
Opinion about the main character:
Hornblower has endearing weaknesses to go along with his strengths.