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Mistress of the Sea Hardcover – 30 Aug 2012

4.5 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Ebury Press (Fiction) (30 Aug. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0091949211
  • ISBN-13: 978-0091949211
  • Product Dimensions: 16.1 x 3.5 x 24 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,685,602 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"A fascinating look at a "lost" adventure of English sea-faring--exotic, savage, and altogether engrossing" (Diana Gabaldon)

"A fascinating look at a "lost" adventure of English sea-faring--exotic, savage, and altogether engrossing." (Diana Gabaldon author of the bestselling Outlander series (Cross Stitch, UK))

"Fantastic, really fantastic. Very exciting, and moving, vivid characters, great ending" (Richard Lee, founder of the Historical Novel Society)

"Beautifully written and researched, this tale of desire, revenge, piracy, war and valour is so evocative we can taste salt on our skin and hear the swoop of sails overhead as we're swept up into a high-stakes adventure unlike any we've read before" (C.W. Gortner, author of The Confessions of Catherine de Medici)

"A captivating and well researched tale of love, duty, and the consequences of actions, set against a vividly described New World." (Editor's Choice Historical Novels Review)

Book Description

An epic, romantic swashbuckling Elizabethan adventure set at the time of Sir Francis Drake, pirates and privateers

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
From the very first image on page one of Mistress of the Sea I knew that I would love the writing in this Elizabethan adventure. 'The chill was enough to hurry everything along, as if the season was already sliding over ice.' We are off and moving back into Elizabethan England in the period of Shakespeare, Drake and Raleigh. This novel is suffused with constant movement. From the shores of Devon to the New World the reader travels with Sir Francis Drake, the sea rolling the ships, the sails catching the wind, to Spanish forts on the rim of the Caribbean, to islands and forests inhabited by the Cimaroons. We voyage with Will a strong and attractive seafaring hero and, importantly, Ellyn an adventurous and very courageous heroine, a merchant's daughter betrothed, of course, to another. Ellyn, concerned for her father heads for the New World on Drake's galleon. The mistress of the sea is more than a little in love with Will and, disguised, Ellyn sets sail for the New World with a crew who are determined to captured Spanish gold. Will, however, has another quest and Ellyn's fate is determined by this, by Drake's ruthlessness and by her devotion to her difficult but likeable father. Mistress of the Sea is a beautiful novel, refreshing after so many stories of the queens of this period. This book has the feel of adventure, the smell of the ocean, is pacy and moreover is superbly researched and carefully written with attention to small fascinating details. Every eloquent chapter has a tiny paratext extracted from literature of this era, the language is accessible, the characters engaging and most of all we, the readers, want to turn the pages.
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Format: Hardcover
Mistress of the Sea is a real, old fashioned swash-buckler of a novel that will appeal to all readers. Its is a story that harks back to the very start of the Golden Age of Discovery and the author has weaved a marvelous work of fiction around a very well-known historical figure and his "antics".

Sir Francis Drake was both hero and villain to England and Jenny Barden creates characters that explore the most pertinent questions about his intentions as well as crafting a story that is strong and set apart from Drake's own. It is, essentially, a love story. But not only about the love between hero & heroine but the love of family, the love of humanity and, ultimately, the realisation and acceptance of the price each of us must pay to find happiness.

This is a rip-roaring story where heroes are crafted in the spirit of Errol Flynn & the heroine could be Olivia de Haviland. Jenny Barden writes scenes that you picture in your mind just like the films of yore where dashing heroes fight with dark, brooding enemies in order to win the heart of the maiden in distress. All in all this is a very good debut novel by an author who has a talent for creating exciting, vibrant stories.
I give MISTRESS OF THE SEA 5 Crosses!

(I edited my review because I believe Mistress of the sea genuinely deserves a 5 star rating)
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Format: Hardcover
Mistress Of The Sea is an intriguing, intelligent read set in the Elizabethan age of exploration and sea-faring. It's obvious from the outset that this novel has been meticulously researched because vivid, historical details underpin every page. However, the history is written with a very subtle hand and it never once overpowers the narrative, even though it contains charismatic, real-life characters like Sir Francis Drake. It takes an expert author to combine history, adventure, romance and fast-paced storytelling, and Jenny Barden gets the balance exactly right.

This sweeping novel brings together all the best elements of historical writing and breathes new life into the craft of epic storytelling. Sharply-drawn, credible characters, perilous adventure, exotic locations and the skilful blending of fact with fiction, make Mistress Of The Sea a real page turner. By interweaving several narratives, the author ensures the momentum is never lost as the plot races to the exciting climax that keeps readers guessing all the way.

It's a long time since I read a book that satisfies on so many levels and I was glad to learn that the author is intending to revisit this period in the future. Mistress Of The Sea updates the Tudor world recreated in Philippa Gregory's novels, and explores the Elizabethan era with imagination, historical accuracy and compelling narrative. An irresistible combination for any lover of good quality, historical fiction.
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Format: Kindle Edition
This novel was exciting above all. I was gripped from the very first paragraphs and I kept snatching minutes whenever I could to get back to it. I liked the way the heroine evolved, who I wasn't so keen on at first but then became a wonderful, brave character. The hero was fantastic, with his internal issues, sense of loyalty and handsome face. I liked the way he didn't act as I'd expected him to. It was great to read a novel with Francis Drake and his adventures as the backdrop, especially as you could see that the author depicted a true version of him and had done her research. I found it refreshing and it has piked my interest in that period. This book was surprising, exciting, illustrative and romantic. It is an exceptional début novel and I hope there's more to come.
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