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Publisher's Summary

Among the coral outcrops of the island of Rota in the Marianas Island, off the Philippines, lies the wreck of a Spanish galleon, the Santa Margarita. Here we are told a tale of the disastrous last voyage, beset by an extraordinary sequence of typhoons and storms, of the Santa Margarita on her way to Acapulco in the spring of 1601.

Based on what little is known of the ship's journey - overloaded cargo, bad-blood amongst the crew and a curse - the author weaves a halting story of greed, horro, deprivation and unimaginable hardship in the north-west Pacific Ocean from the handful of survivors rescued from the wreck.

©2008 Richard Woodman (P)2009 Soundings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Richard
  • Pembroke Pines, FL, United States
  • 12-08-11

A tale of when men were iron and ships were wood

A pretty good tale of old times when the church had so much power and was so evil. I am so glad we have freedom from religion in America. This is a sea tragedy, and tragic it is. Hurricanes, Typhoons, Gales, Storms and Gusts batter the Grand Spanish Galleon across the wide Pacific. All the while humans try to weather the weather and their prejudices. And their prejudices may be the worst part of the journey. There is disease, and accidents, and death comes in many ways. The worst way is human treachery, which is a constant even today. I did have trouble with some of the Spanish names and could not keep track of who was who because of the strangeness of them. And lastly the end could have been better, therefore a four star review instead of five.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
  • David
  • 07-30-09

Not up to Woodman's usual standard

I have to agree with the previous reviewer that this was, indeed, a trifle tedious in parts. Anyone approaching this book after reading Woodman's Nathaniel Drinkwater or Kite series will, I think, be disappointed. Shame, because the story has all the makings of a good yarn - main character with a secret, discontented crew, overly authoritative officers, typhoons a-plenty and a final landing on a not so friendly shore.

I have to admit to dropping off a couple of times in the early to mid stages, only really picking up interest after landfall.

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    1 out of 5 stars
  • Gecko129
  • 07-15-09

Yawn....

...has to be one of the most tedious, boring, yawn inducing books ever written. Several hours of petty pathetic conversations and on-board political posturing that almost bring the listener to throwing the bloody discs out of the window. Unfortunately, on a long car journey I endured ... I should have thrown them!