1794. Free from jail, John Pearce is not free from the smugglers whose boat he stole - they want bloody revenge and are prepared to chase him to the ends of the earth to get it. While lying low at Emily Barclay's, Pearce soon has other pressing concerns on his mind: fellow Pelicans Charlie and Rufus remain incarcerated in the Chatham hulk prison ship, and Emily's rescue of the court martial papers that threaten to damn Pearce are at risk due to the dangerous scheming of Ralph Barclay and his slippery clerk, Gherson. Granted a commission by William Pitt, John Pearce soon evades his pursuers by undertaking a dangerous mission in support of a massive revolt in the Vendee region of France. As high rebellious ambition turns to bloody disaster, Pearce must extricate himself from peril - along with old flame Amelie Labordiere - and rejoin Admiral Howe's fleet as it heads off a French fleet and American grain convoy. Also serving with Admiral Howe is Ralph Barclay - who has somehow contrived to yet again press Pearce's friends Charlie and Rufus into his crew. The danger for the Pelicans is only just beginning, however, as Howe's collision with the French fleet climaxes in one of the greatest battles of the Revolutionary War: the Battle of the Glorious First of June. Daring escapes, a deadly swordfight, bungled thefts involving devious villains, a dangerous mission for the British government and history-changing battles combine in the eighth adventure starring the flamboyant John Pearce and his loyal Pelicans.