Pirate Code

Written by Helen Hollick
Review by Irene May

“In the sexiest pirate contest, Capt Jesamiah Acorne gives Johnny Depp’s Jack Sparrow a run for his money” so runs the quote on the cover, and I would follow that with Acorne being a clear winner! There is everything here that anyone who likes pirate-based nautical yarns, with a believable touch of added fantasy, will enjoy. A romp from cover to cover.

Pirate Code is the second ‘Voyage’ in this series of adventures, but can be read as a stand-alone; although for maximum pleasure and entertainment I would recommend reading the books in order, starting with Sea Witch.

Now an ex-pirate, having signed a declaration of amnesty, Captain Acorne is manipulated into sailing his beloved ship, Sea Witch, into the Spanish-dominated waters of Hispaniola in search of a valuable cache of indigo and a missing English spy. Unfortunately, he is not liked by the Spanish and is thrown into prison only to be rescued by a beautiful Englishwoman, widow of a Spanish Don. Unbeknown to Jesamiah, she has her own agenda to follow and he finds himself getting into deeper trouble. Meanwhile, the white-witch, Tiola Oldstagh, the love of his life but married to another, appears to have turned her back on Jesamiah – she is actually fighting her own supernaturally-based battles in order to save his life.

Add in the ethereal spirit element of Rain and the sea-goddess Tethys, who desperately wants Acorne for herself, plus some revelations about his own father and past and you have an un-put-downable fun-read of a romp full of excitement, romance and derring-do. There are betrayals, disasters, heroic moments, and sexy seductions, all of which are fabulously written. Helen Hollick’s meticulous attention to detail blends known fact seamlessly into outright imagination so that you are not always certain which is which (including some gruesome scenes which are not over-intrusive but add authenticity to a pirate-based novel).

One warning. If you suffer from sea-sickness the vivid descriptions of a sailing ship on a rough sea are also very authentic! All the characters are thoroughly believable, the dialogue slick, often witty, and the adventure itself highly exciting. I defy any woman not to instantly fall for Captain Acorne. A series not to be missed. Very highly recommended and TV drama series stuff!