Peter Blood, tall, spare, elegant, swarthy as a gipsy, with his startlingly blue eyes, high-bridged nose and thin, firm mouth is born to be a romantic hero. Condemned to the plantations of Barbadoes for using his medical skill in tending a wounded rebel against King James II, he is purchased by odiously sadistic slave owner Colonel Bishop at the behest of the Colonel’s niece Arabella (fair, frank and unfashionably slender).
Peter Blood and selected fellow slaves, poised for a daring escape, are unexpectedly aided by a dastardly Spanish attack on Carlisle Bay. And this is where the story really begins. Starting off in a stolen Spanish ship, within three years Captain Blood has become a terror of the seas, renowned for his unequalled seamanship, honourable dealings and courtesy to women.
This novel was first published in 1922. Disregard the sometimes dated attitudes and simply enjoy this glorious romp through the Caribbean where villains are either cowardly, sweaty and stupid, or brutally handsome and cunning but not nearly so smart or witty as Peter Blood with his appealing Irish accent.
An ingenious double bluff, a masterpiece of seamanship whereby he outwits the Spanish, taking his fleet out of a seemingly impregnable trap at Maracaybo, sets the tone for a magnificent series of set-piece sea engagements worthy of the greatest storytellers of the genre. Sabatini’s command of language is vivid, assured and utterly convincing. But will Peter Blood at last win the heart of the feisty, sceptical Arabella?