I enjoy pirate-based stories so much I even write my own series, so I am somewhat hesitant to meet characters created by other authors – but Douglas Boren’s pirate was a pleasure to meet. If it can be a pleasure to meet a pirate.
Maggie Alexander is a servant to Lord Myron Victor of Cheswyck. She is brutally raped by his business partner, Don Carlos Ramirez of Cordoba. Because the resulting pregnancy may cause a scandal she is dismissed from service. Returning to her impoverished parents she gives birth to a son, Rafe.
With the passing of time, things work out well; she meets Captain Sam Newell and is about to marry him when she is murdered in the street. Young Rafe kills the murderers but fearing arrest he flees London aboard Newell’s ship.
Newell himself eventually turns pirate – and now the adventure really begins. Rafe is to meet many and varied characters as he grows from boy to man; pretty women, good friends and dastardly scoundrels. His aim is to avenge his mother’s rape and kill Ramirez, but there are others in this High Sea adventure with the same desire, notably the woman who calls herself Black Widow, she too suffered from the Spaniard’s brutality.
I found several historical errors: there was not a police force in London in the early 1700’s (The Bow Street Runners were established 1749) Larboard was the correct term, not port back then, and correctly, musket-men not riflemen. Rafe carries a ‘brace of three pistols’ – a brace is actually a pair. Another edit would pick up the occasional punctuation error, and in places an author’s voice and tell not show writing style comes to the fore along with a few clichés. I would also have preferred new chapters instead of line breaks, when the scenes changed.
These issues aside, the characters are believable, the baddies are real baddies and the goodies are interesting people. With some historical facts added, the hanging of Jack Rackham for instance, plenty of sword fights and battles at sea, nicely balanced by some romantic episodes, the Kindle edition could make an entertaining beach or in-flight read. The story is full of action and adventure, albeit a little violent in places, but then as the author says in his closing note: ‘pirates were the terrorists of their time’.