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Sea Witch Paperback – 20 Jun 2011
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"Everything we want in a grand pirate adventure ... a terrific read." --James L. Nelson
"In the sexiest pirate contest, Cpt Jesamiah Acorne gives Johnny Depp's Jack Sparrow a run for his money."
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So when I came across this series of pirate tales, I had to give it a try.
Sea Witch is the first book about the adventures of Captain Jesemiah Acorne and adventures they are. Reading this book took me back to my early love of swashbuckling films and of stories such as he prisoner of Zenda and Man in the Iron Mask. It’s an exhilarating tale of love, off and on the high seas.
In the author’s notes she states that she has taken some small liberties with details and dates but the narrative feels very well researched with nautical terms and references freely being used. Very cleverly, these terms enhance the story and never feel forced or clumsy.
This first in the series shows the reader how Jesemiah became a pirate and gives a real flavour of what dangers were faced by such a lifestyle. It also illustrates the hardships for everyone living in the far outposts of the world as it was in the 1700’s.
There is a ‘mystical’ element to the story which, just through personal preference, would usually put me off but actually in this case the magic is woven well into the main story and didn’t distract.
Sea Witch is good tale, well told and a thoroughly enjoyable read.
The level of research the author has included is inspiring and the inclusion of a diagram of a typical vessel from this period along with a glossary of terms is a lovely touch.
The story itself was surprisingly original. A work like this is always going to draw the inevitable comparisons with Jack Sparrow's big screen adventures, but this is exceedingly more down to earth and possesses far more soul and charm. The two main characters were fresh and endearing, especially Tiola and their relationship and struggles leant real weight to this exciting tale. I'm quite thrilled about having several more of their stories to explore in the future.
Helen Hollick has added lots of extra depth to this jolly romp - and I'm not talking fathoms here. Firstly, by weaving in the interesting tale of the girl after whom the eponymous ship is named - the Cornish maid with hidden powers of traditional white witchcraft, working sometimes with and sometimes against the mythical magical powers that dwell beneath the waves.
Both hero and heroine also have an interesting back-story of being ill-treated as children which has shaped their modern characters - and their willingness to fight for what is right in their moral code, rather than obeying the law. The story includes the most lucid, simple explanation of how bullies are made that I have ever read, and these truths, still very much relevant in the 21st century, make this much more than a simple Pirates of the Caribbean style tale.
I was very impressed with the attention to historical detail and the alluring descriptions of the sea and its sailing ships throughout. The author confesses that she has taken a few liberties with history to make her story neat and tidy, but I think these are entirely justified for the sake of such a compelling tale. I've already downloaded the sequel to this book and am hopeful that I'll find it as gripping and satisfying as Sea Witch.
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Wow! What a story. I wasn’t really sure what to expect, I have a maritime background and have often found the technical stuff in other ‘sea’ stories to be...Read more