Robert Gardiner has done us all a great service with his series of books on the sailing navies, and the war in which they engaged. This book is no different and is a valuable addition to the series.
It is a book of sailing ship plans of all the main, and some of the smaller, belligerents of the French Revolutionaly and Napoleonic Wars. It is somewhat on the line of Chappelle's superb History of the American Sailing Navy, although not as comprehensive. Still, it is scholarly, has Admiralty plans of dozens of warships, from the ship of the line, through frigates, sloops, and brigs, to the lowly bomb ketches.
The narrative is authoritative, and the author knows his subject matter thoroughly. This is not a book about naval warfare per se; it is a book about ship design among the different belligerents. I didn't consider it one for pleasure reading, but more of a reference work that can be a great aid to researchers, modelers, and wargamers.
This book is highly recommended, but it you're looking for a book that 'telleth of much fyte,' this is not it. For that I recommend others by Robert Gardiner such as his excellent Naval War of 1812. I am looking forward to his book on frigates, which will be a welcome addition to the genre.