The subtitle is A Serio-Comic Novel of Anne Bonny & Mary Read. It isn't the whole story of Anne and Mary; this is more like an origin story. The tale is essentially true in its outlines, but historical accuracy is occasionally overwhelmed by authorial invention. The scene is the Caribbean, 1718: Englishwoman Mary Read is forced to disguise herself as sailor Martin Read; then things get more complicated when she falls in love with another sailor, Peter Meredith, a brilliant man but rather clueless about the sea... who also has no idea that his best friend is a woman. To make matters worse, they're both captured by pirates. To make matters worse yet, one of the pirates is Anne Bonny, Southern belle turned scourge of the Caribbean. Anne takes a very strong liking to Martin Read - which enrages her lover, Captain Calico Jack Rackam. Mary's life becomes a whirlwind of intrigue, imprisonment, deadly duels, and unwanted sexual advances that are inappropriate even by the rather loose standards of 18th-century pirates. And there are other problems: the new Governor of the Bahamas wants to put an end to Anne Bonny's career, and a vicious enemy from Calico Jack's past is out for a bloody revenge. The only way out of all these various predicaments is for Mary Read and Anne Bonny to team up: to join swords and put their trust in each other and in no one else. Based on a true story, The Legendary Adventures of the Pirate Queens combines drama and comedy to tell the tale of two women who in ordinary times would never have met; and yet did meet, and went on to become the most fearsome pair of sea-faring hellions in the West Indies.
©2012 and 2014 James Grant Goldin (P)2014 James Grant Goldin
This was an excellent pirate read! Filled with wit and historical detail, it had me laughing out loud much of the time. I'm a very picky and discerning reader--I don't give 5 stars lightly, but boy howdy does this deserve 5 stars! I loved it. Highly entertaining.
The story of Anne Bonny and Mary Read is usually reduced to a small paragraph in pirate history books. They sailed with Calico Jack. They dressed like men. They were spared the noose because they were pregnant. Jack was not so lucky, and was hung out to dry as a warning to other pirates on an island not far from Port Royal. Mary died soon after from a fever. Anne Bonny and her child disappeared into the mist.
Well, this book fills in the details deliciously. The author paints a portrait of Mary, Anne, and Jack in a wild tale that leaves you hungry for more.
I've been on a pirate book binge for months, and this is definitely at the top of my favorites list along with Matt Tomerlin's "Devil's Fire" trilogy and Tim Powers' "On Stranger Tides" (You know, the book the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise butchered).
I listed to the audio version, and Ms. Arserio is brilliant. Wouldn't change a thing about her performance, and I hardly ever say that either.
I just loved this tale of Mary Read and Anne Bonny and their pirate adventures.
Goldin artfully contrasts two very different experiences of women on the high seas. Mary Read is compelled to conceal her sex and masquerade as her late brother, Martin Read. Whereas, Anne Bonny does not need to conceal her. Sex, in contrast she uses it to her advantage and is a legend in herself. The two women come from vastly different backgrounds, express contrasting values yet complement each other to be a fearsome duo.
The narrator, Shiromi Arserio, brings the characters and the story to life. Her singing of sea shanties takes this audiobook to the next level.
This is a fun and entertaining story of hi jinks on the high seas.
Fairs winds readers!
This story is very entertaining and I think anyone who enjoys pirate stories will enjoy this one. It is interesting that the big details I know about Anne Bonny and Mary Read are all incorporated. The author makes them just as awesome as I'd all like to think they were.
The narrator was very good. She had to speak different languages, do many voices, sing songs. I liked it all. I'd seek out further works by her and the author.
I was given a free copy of this audio book in exchange for an honest review.
What a fun book I didn’t want to stop listening, it was rip-roaring fun on the high seas! These two ladies are so different Martin/Mary dresses like a man and fights in a war and goes to sea and ends up on a Pirate ship. Anne Bonny on the other hand is all woman all the time, she ran away from her husband and became mistress to a pirate though in all honesty I think Anne ran the ship and just let Captain Calico Jack think he did.
When Anne can’t seem to get Martin to pay attention to her and then Calico makes the comment that Martin is in love with her Anne sets out to find out the truth, these scenes are hilarious because as readers we know Martin is really Mary however Anne Bonny is not used to a man who wants nothing to do with her. I loved how she couldn’t comprehend a man not falling for her feminine wiles, and poor Mary trying her best not to cross Anne because she is a pirate after all and has the temper to go with it. And Mary as Martin is a gentleman she is tough as nails and can fight and shoot and do the jobs on the ship but she always tries to be a gentleman.
However our dear Martin/Mary is in love another seaman Peter who has no idea that she is a he, this complicates their relationship, so she moons over him from afar and tries her best to keep him alive because he is not much of a seaman and not a fighter at all, he came to sea because he is the 2nd born or the spare as they were known in the day, wanting to learn about longitude and clocks because at this time in history it was sailing by the stars and I believe people went of course a lot.
All the characters in this book were very interesting, and it made me want to know even more about these ladies and as I always say a sign of a good historical fiction book is that it makes me want to research more and this one definitely did that.
New to me narrator Shiromi Arserio was very good she had many different accents and I liked how she had 2 different voices for Martin and Mary even though they were the same person. Very well done and I will be on the lookout for anything else she has narrated.
This was a new author and narrator for me and I truly enjoyed them both and if the author writes any other historical fiction books I will be reading them for sure.
If you enjoy the Jackie Faber/Bloody Jack books give this one a try I think you will enjoy it.
4 ½ Stars
I received this from the author for a fair and honest review, and I am so glad I said yes!
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