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Corsair (Pirate Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

Tim Severin
2.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £7.99
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Book Description

1677. On a late-summer's evening, two ships lurk off the coast of southwest Ireland. Seventeen-year-old Hector Lynch wakes to the sound of a pistol shot as the Barbary corsairs raid his village, and he and his sister are snatched. Separated from each other, Hector is sold at auction in Algiers, and thrown into a bewildering world where life is cheap and only the quick-witted survive.

In North Africa, Hector befriends fellow captive Dan, a Miskito Indian from the Caribbean, and the two men convert to Islam to escape the horrors of the slave barracks - only to become victims of the deadly warfare of the Mediterranean. Serving aboard a Turkish ship, their vessel is sunk at sea and by a savage twist of fortune they are chained to the oar bench of a French galley.

Desperate to find his sister, Hector finally stumbles on the chilling truth of her fate when he and Dan are shipwrecked on the coast of Morocco.

Books In This Series (4 Books)
Complete Series

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    Product Description


    '...interesting story and a captivating adventure. Throughout the pages of the novel you can see the author's love for history.' -- Dark Wolf's Fantasy Reviews

    'Deals with the fascinating and seldom explored area of white slavery...'
    -- Huddersfield Daily Examiner

    Dark Wolf's Fantasy Reviews

    '...interesting story and a captivating adventure. Throughout the pages of the novel you can see the author's love for history.'

    Product details

    • Format: Kindle Edition
    • File Size: 1194 KB
    • Print Length: 369 pages
    • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1447277465
    • Publisher: Pan; New Edit/Cover edition (18 Sept. 2009)
    • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
    • Language: English
    • ASIN: B003GK226Q
    • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
    • X-Ray:
    • Word Wise: Not Enabled
    • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
    • Average Customer Review: 2.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
    • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #105,922 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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    More About the Author

    Tim Severin, explorer, film-maker and lecturer, has made many expedition from his crossing of the Atlantic in a medieval leather boat in The Brendan Voyage to, most recently, In Search of Moby Dick and Robinson Crusoe. He has won the Thomas Cook Travel Book Award, the Book of the Sea Award, a Christopher Prize, and the literary medal of the Academie de la Marine.

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    Customer Reviews

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews
    18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
    2.0 out of 5 stars good detail not enough story... 2 Dec. 2007
    This book is a prime example of an author delving deeply into the history books to create a world full of accurate details and realistic settings but forgetting that his main job is telling an engaging story... It all seemed to flit from one place to another without any real characterisation, while the end was (how else to put it) a bit of a damp squib... It's a shame, nice ideas, poor execution...
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    1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
    2.0 out of 5 stars A history lesson 3 Feb. 2014
    By Nick Brett TOP 1000 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
    Format:Kindle Edition
    Other reviewers have pointed this out, but Corsair is an unusual historical novel. The norm is to have a story set in a historical period which provides an engaging backdrop to the narrative. Here the narrative seems to take second place to excessive information about the era. The balance just doesn’t work.

    The hero of the story is Hector Lynch, an Irishman taken as a teen by slavers. He is both too clever and too lucky, each time he gets himself into a situation there is an easy out, and he also lacks depth as a character so it becomes hard to care anyway. His sister was also taken and there is a theme about him trying to track her down, but this is resolved in about three dull pages and then Hector rolls onto his next unlikely escapade. Hector is also the focal point for us to be educated about the era, “What is that?” he might ask and of course the response is used to tell us all sorts of in depth detail. Too much in-depth detail.

    This does really read as if a historian has wrapped a story around a historical period, but without the art and craft of story-telling. This is just flat and horrible. I had been looking forward to this and thought the author might be my kind of writer, but I think I’ll give him a miss from now on.
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    13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
    3.0 out of 5 stars Tim's Pirates 18 Sept. 2007
    By Gareth Wilson - Falcata Times Blog TOP 1000 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
    Tim's brand new series to sail the seven seas with. Whilst we have come to know Tim as not only a practical author who has completed challenges to see how accurate the documentation or oral tales of the times are but also on the level of technologies of our ancestors were, we have also come to respect him for his hugely energetic and fast action paced Viking Trilogy adventure.

    What I came to expect and hoped for with this new series made it one of my highlights for the second part of this year. Alas I was left feeling a little cheated with the first novel, well that's not exactly accurate the beginning piece left me feeling cheated whilst the rest of the novel took a while to build up my trust in his talent. Why was this? Well personally I felt that we really didn't get a chance to know the principle protagonist in much the same way that we did with his other series and as such made it difficult to come to grips with the challenges of his life let alone the agonies to which he was afflicted.

    However as the novel continued we did get a glimpse of the talent that made me sit up and listen to his earlier fiction and gently brought me back into the type of tale I have come to expect. Whether this first novel was designed to be more of an introduction to his world rather than a full throttle excitement is what we will have to wait to see, yet we know that the next novel in the series will see not only massive challenges for our heroes but also allow the reader to see how each of them will rebuild their lives after the events in the first installment, whether I'd buy this novel before the second part is available I think that I'd probably leave it. This is due to my own chain of thoughts that if the second installment is going to do what I suspect it will, it will make the series a hard to put down necessity. I just hope that this is going to be the case and that Tim will not prove to be a one fiction series author.
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    1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
    By Bridgey
    Corsair - Tim Severin ****

    This in the first book in a trilogy following the trials and tribulations of Hector Lynch. Set in the 17th Century it is a historical adventure novel. He is abducted from his home, along with his sister, in Ireland by a Corsair, then sold off as a slave.

    In order to be treated more fairly in his role as a slave he decides (with a friend called Dan) to take the turban and convert from christianity to islam. However when he takes to the sea in a robbing spree his ship is attacked and he becomes once again a slave, this time however to the Christians.

    Joined by 3 friends (a french burglar, a fellow slave & a mutilated christian) we follow his life from country to country and enslaver to enslaver.

    Not a bad book, but occasionally read like a school textbook with the author seeming more intent on facts than plot. I was bordering on 3 or 4 stars for the book, but I think I learnt a few new facts along the journey so gave it a 4l

    Would I read the rest of the trilogy? I'm not sure, but you never know.......
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    1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars An easy-going page-turner 10 April 2011
    I am surprised at the reviews below. I think this book is exactly what it makes out to be. A historical adventure novel. There is great attention to detail and yet it is still easy to read. I agree that the characters are a bit shallow, but for me this story was about the adventure, not the protagonists. Some of my most favourite, and developed characters didnt seem to last too long, and that is a shame but overall, I found myself turning the pages eager to get to the next part of the story.

    In short: If you love that in-depth character of Dosteyevsky et al. This is not a book for you. HOWEVER, if you just want a bit of a historical whimsical adventure, then buy it, read it, and enjoy the story.
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    Most Recent Customer Reviews
    5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
    Good read - part of a trilogy
    Published 6 months ago by Corky
    5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
    good book.
    Published 13 months ago by Mr. Kerry Stylianou
    4.0 out of 5 stars Adventure on the high seas!
    Set in the late 1670's and early 1680's, Corsair is real adventure tale set on the high seas, the Mediterranean, North Africa, deserts and coast. Read more
    Published 20 months ago by Martin Belcher
    5.0 out of 5 stars great read
    I thuoght this book was a good read it is very informative about the history of the time and cleverly explained in the text I could not wait to read Hectors next adventure which... Read more
    Published on 12 Jan. 2013 by rc
    4.0 out of 5 stars a good story with lots of historical detail
    I enjoyed this book .It shows a lot of research and historical background. It is not a rip roaring adventure. I hope it is the start of a great saga. I look forward to more. Read more
    Published on 7 Mar. 2011 by A. Browne
    2.0 out of 5 stars not a seafaring adventure
    All the reviews to date are accurate. Great respect for the author's attention to detail but disappointment in the story and character development. Read more
    Published on 13 Feb. 2011 by Slowhand
    2.0 out of 5 stars Lacks action
    Having read three of these books I do tend to agree with others about the historical context etc, but they lacked sort of action. Read more
    Published on 29 Oct. 2010 by Riva
    3.0 out of 5 stars This is a good read
    I think the trouble is with reviews on Amazon is that people either give a very high score or very low score. Read more
    Published on 6 Sept. 2010 by Mr. Richard Bristol
    4.0 out of 5 stars Good entertainment
    Just reading this novel now. Am surprised at the reviews. It is not so terrible. Great research but it stutters. Shame to develop characters and then kill them off. Read more
    Published on 21 May 2010 by News book
    2.0 out of 5 stars Not the greatest book
    A tale of amazing coincidence after amazing coincidence followed by a liberal dose of deus-ex-machina and not enough character. Read more
    Published on 21 April 2010 by Paul
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