Corsair: The Adventures of Hector Lynch


The unfortunate Hector Lynch certainly gets his fair share of adventures in this novel and is still only eighteen years of age by the end of the tale. Snatched by Barbary corsairs from his quiet village on the south coast of Ireland, Hector and his sister are whisked away to lands unknown. Hector is separated from his sister, Elizabeth, and held prisoner on a ship sailing south to a destiny which would have horrified people with more experience of life in the 17th century.

Hector’s sale in the slave market and incarceration within the slave barracks at Algiers has a fortunate outcome in his forming a friendship with fellow captive, Dan, a Miskito Indian from the Caribbean. Their subsequent conversion to Islam, a passage not for the squeamish, allows the two friends to be together, even though their adventurous life is far from serene.

His quest to locate the whereabouts of his sister leaves Hector feeling bereaved when he discovers she will never be released from her position, voluntarily or otherwise. Severin writes a tale of adventure which will appeal to the reader whose questioning of the plausibility of the storyline does not delve too deep and who is ripe for piratical happenings without considering the falseness of the journeying.

Share this review

Buy "The Beggar at the Gate & Other Stories" for £2.05 (Kindle edition)

12 of the best stories selected from the 2012 Historical Novel Society Short Story Award






(UK) £12.99

(US) 9781405088886




Appeared in

Reviewed by