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Mistress of the Sea Paperback – 20 Jun 2013
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"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)
An epic, romantic swashbuckling Elizabethan adventure set at the time of Sir Francis Drake, pirates and privateersSee all Product description
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Spoiler alert ....
Since the heroine of the story remains chaste as the driven snow throughout and is never in a position of authority while at sea......in fact her time on board is almost incidental to the story except as a means of getting her to America and back.... I felt the title was a tad disingenuous.
Nevertheless my first impressions stand: a lovely addition to the historical fiction genre exploring events which were clearly already very dramatic and exciting presenting the little known but exciting facts with a light fictional gloss. Barden has done her research thoroughly and signposts the interested reader to a wide range of further reading.
Shipboard discomforts and the deprivation she experiences on a remote tropical island are only the beginning of her trials. A lone female in a very masculine environment, the resourceful Ellyn remains a woman of her time and place--though displaced in a fashion unimaginable to the average 16th century maiden. Will Doonan is on a mission of vengeance and discovery, desperate to learn the fate of his lost brother Kit. His concern and deep feelings for Ellyn are at odds with his very personal need to strike at England's great enemy.
Drake's risky attempts to seize Spanish silver and gold threaten the lives and test the loyalties of Ellyn, Will, and all the crew as they strive to outmaneuvre the Spaniards. People of the Old World and the New forge alliances, meet in battle, and constantly struggle for survival in harsh yet exotically beautiful surroundings.
Jenny Barden deserves highest praise for her historical fiction debut, intelligently and sensitively written. Readers will be eager for her next novel.
Margaret Evans Porter
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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