Profile for Ethel the Pirate's Daughter > Reviews

Personal Profile

Content by Ethel the Pira...
Top Reviewer Ranking: 4,565,357
Helpful Votes: 28

Learn more about Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
Ethel the Pirate's Daughter

Show:  
Page: 1
pixel
Pirate King: Coxinga and the Fall of the Ming Dynasty
Pirate King: Coxinga and the Fall of the Ming Dynasty
by Jonathan Clements
Edition: Hardcover

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stranger then Fiction, 6 July 2004
A foundling prince flees his evil stepfather, shielded by a whirling flock of magpies. A failed usurper sits on his throne, watching as poison kills his assembled family. And a lone commander begs his superiors to listen to his fears that a pirate king is plotting against him -- all moments from the action-packed, mind-boggling story of Coxinga. Author Clements scrupulously references a series of tales that grow ever taller, as the son of a smuggler and a samurai is caught up in the Manchurian invasion of China, is symbolically adopted by an imperial pretender, and swears to fight to the death for the honour of the Ming dynasty. This one has Hollywood written all over it, from the freed African slaves that formed Coxinga's personal bodyguard, to the gripping siege of the European base on Taiwan, attended with divine visions, battling goddesses, and the defiance of a heroic priest. A truly incredible page-turner, told with consummate skill, and all the more shocking for being true.


Big Chief Elizabeth: How England's Adventurers Gambled and Won the New World
Big Chief Elizabeth: How England's Adventurers Gambled and Won the New World
by Giles Milton
Edition: Paperback
Price: 8.99

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars swashbuckling style, 30 Jun 2004
Even better than Milton's celebrated Nathaniel's Nutmeg and Samurai William, this scrap of American history plays like a sci-fi tale of colonists seeking out a "new world". The human tragedy of Europe's first interaction with the original Americans is palpable. History, which to me as a child was ever dull and tortuous, comes to life in this modern swashbuckler.


Christina Queen of Sweden: The Restless Life of a European Eccentric
Christina Queen of Sweden: The Restless Life of a European Eccentric
by Veronica Buckley
Edition: Hardcover

22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a flawless biography of a flawed royal, 30 Jun 2004
Reared as a boy by her charismatic, kingly father, and the subject of scandalous gossip regarding her bed-sharing with a female companion, Queen Christina cast aside her crown in favour of the easy life. Buckley's book is packed with action and humour, skilfully side-stepping much of the tortured politics that makes so many other books about Swedish history so difficult to take. But while nothing can fault Buckley's multilingual research, her honesty can backfire: Christina comes across as sad, lonely, and ultimately a trifle stupid. Nowhere is this more apparent than in her grasping attempts to hang onto power, even as she capriciously rejects responsibility. The flighty way she summons the philosopher Descartes, only to indirectly cause his death is another example of her regal self-absorption. But Buckley is not afraid to tell Christina's story warts and all, and that alone is enough to gain her five well-deserved stars.


Page: 1