The Wrath of Brotherhood
When Merchant Captain Roy Toppings returns to Plymouth after a successful voyage, he learns of the death of his sister Constance. She had married a Spaniard and sailed with him to the Caribbean, but pirates attacked their ship. Her husband survived, and Roy vows vengeance. That mission takes him to Port Royal where he obtains a letter of marque and attacks Spanish ships and towns, always searching for his brother-in-law.
Coya, an Incan who has made her way to Port Royal following the loss of her family and tribe, is a thief highly skilled in the use of knives. She steals to survive, but lives a lonely life, with no home. After she saves Roy’s life, he invites her to join his crew. While on the Dutch island of Curaçao she steals a chest of money intended to pay the ransom of a Spanish colonel captured by Henry Morgan. Her success and bravery win the crew’s respect. Before long they become her new family – one that accepts her for who she is. Once a slave, Ajuban serves as Roy’s first mate where he is an equal. He keeps a wary eye on anyone who would dare harm his captain or Coya, while using his knowledge to provide advice that aids their quests. In search of additional men, Roy meets Jan Huisman, a Dutch surgeon, who joins the crew and soon becomes a valuable addition.
Papers found within the chest Coya steals lend credence to rumors of Spanish troops massing for an invasion of the Dutch island. With the assistance of Morgan and another leader of the Brethren of the Coast, their crews devise a bold plan for halting the invasion. But to be successful, a volunteer must risk his life on a suicide mission.
The only weaknesses in the storyline involve Roy’s vow to avenge his sister’s death and the one crewmember with nefarious designs on Coya. While the former element is brought back into the storyline in a satisfying way, the latter never leads to anything. In spite of these, this first book in the Brethren of the Spanish Main series is a deftly-woven tale that transports readers to the Caribbean of the seventeenth century. High adventure, breath-taking escapades, and wonderfully drawn characters, make this a swashbuckling tale.
[e-book edition reviewed]