I am fortunate enough to know the author of this book and was able to read a draft during the editing stages. Although it took me a few chapters to get into the book, Julia skillfully uses flashback to unfold Stephen Boswell’s backstory and the reason for his present paranoia. Her characters are multi-dimensional, with even the most ruthless pirates being able to show affection, insecurity, and regret. The heroine, 10-year-old Alice, shows remarkable grit and strength for a character of her age. (And yes, I know she is fictional.)
The greatest thing about this book, in my humble opinion, is it’s historical accuracy. Julia did tons of research on pirates, weapons, ships, sailing, jargon, and the British navy to ensure that her book illustrates pirates the way they actually were, not as Hollywood likes to portray them. However, with historical accuracy comes the unpleasant truth of violence and murder. This book it not for those who squirm at blood and torture. I, myself am not fond of violence, and found some parts of the book difficult to get through. Be aware that Captain Boswell IS a merciless pirate.
I highly recommend this book for anyone who likes characters with deep, complex psyches, fast-paced stories and plots, and/or historical fiction novels (especially in the realm of pirates). Definitely a book to add to your personal library.
P.S., there’s a crazy plot twist towards the end that will blow your mind.