While this is the second in the series (and 3rd I read) it was actually the first one completed, which is perhaps not too odd because I found it the most focused and an enjoyable tale out of a number of enjoyable works. The series are historical works for younger readers told with humor and insight, ostensibly by the magically enhanced, about to be executed, spy Hale--who shares his name with the author. This issue is about the ironclad ships that fought in the American Civil War (which also rang the end of the old, wood ship era). All the history books I've read explained this event as two iron coated ships, the Monitor from the Union and the Virginia from the Confederacy, that fought for several hours to a standstill and went their separate ways. The end. Not only do I finally learn how half ass that account is, but I was riveted by the exciting and interesting events that surround the story. Well done Hale, suck it American history text books.