When William Kite runs away to sea to escape a charge of murder, he finds himself aboard the Enterprize, a Liverpool Guineaman, or slave ship, destined for the Guinea coast of west Africa. Having loaded the slaves, the ship prepares to cross the Atlantic, bound for the sugar plantations of the West Indies.
Despite the accusation hanging over him, Kite is moved by compassion for the slaves’ helplessness and finds himself serving as a surgeon on the ship, exposed to the dreaded yellow fever which decimates the Enterprize’s crew. Kite's subsequent adventures lead him into a world of corruption and love, of trade and friendship as the Seven Years War breaks out.
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