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After rejecting the pleadings of his wife, Marian, not to sail, Captain Nigel Keeling accepts the positions of master and pilot major for an uncharted arctic voyage in 1553. In her first historical novel, Voyage to Muscovy, M.J. Rigg brings to life the dangerous and often fatal wooden world of sixteenth-century seamen. Captain Keeling and his crew of experienced seamen leave the safety of London and their families to pursue a trade agreement with a country that many believe does not exist. From embarkation, the crew meets with adversity—an unforeseen squall that kills a crew member, a vicious encounter with a bear, and a bloody sea battle with a rival ship. It is Captain Keeling's responsibility to keep the men's spirits up, but he meets with resistance from his critical master's mate, Mr. Buckland. To the superstitious seamen each problem and setback is a portent of disaster that will make impossible a return from their Voyage to Muscovy.