Magellan's circumnavigation is a fascinating story, and that is the main thing that saves Bergreen's book. The characters, their travels, and their times are so interesting and unusual that Bergreen has little to do. I am glad that I read this book, and it is one of the better ones on the subject, but Bergreen is in no way up to par with authors like Nathaniel Philbrick for maritime history.
Well written book, author meanders a little, but keeps it interesting. He spends a lot of time on the intrigue (both on the voyage and in Spain) regarding the expedition, much of it due to Magellan being a Portuguese sailing for Spain.
More than a dry recitation of facts about Magellan's voyage, this book practically puts the reader on board the flagship to experience things firsthand. There are a lot of details, some of them rather lurid, but it's all clearly written and interesting.