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on 2 January 2014
My instinct is towards five stars because this is such a cracking read. Even though not pretending to be an expert on historic seamanship, Keating is accurate enough to be acceptable to a Patrick O'Brien reader without being pedantic enough to impede the plot. Characterisation is excellent; for instance Keating chillingly describes Blackbeard without making him a 'Christmas Panto' character. Unfortunately the language is not consistently contemporary and 'old' expressions mix with 'new'. But don't let that put you off this excellent series.
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VINE VOICEon 12 February 2011
Sorry, I love that descriptive title that is probably years out of date but really described a good pirate/treasure story. This book introduces us to Devlin, sold as a child into servitude into the Royal Navy - however, when pirates raid the ship, Devlin gleefully joins the ragged band but then must avoid his old master's revenge as he sails the high seas. This is a great beginning of what promises to be a pirate sage and is a pleasant change from the modern trend of Top 10 novels which include Danish Drana, Romantic twaddle and gloomy biographies, not to mention horrific crime stories. Novels are meant to enjoyed, not mourned over this is a great fun novel. AS someone who read Dennis Wheatly under the blankets with a torch, this set the sytle that I constantly sought. Bernard Cornwall and Wilbur Smith have sufficed but they are now a little passe in style. This is very well written, the characters alive and treasure on the horizon. Give it a chance!!!!!!!!!!Fight for Freedom (Pirate Devlin 1)
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Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I did think that any pirate novel nowadays was going to be overly influenced by "Pirate of the Caribbean"; but "The Pirate Devlin" surprised me. For a start, it is largely believable, in that all the events and action could easily have taken place. There isn't more killing than is historically likely, and the hero is by no means superhuman.

My only concern with it was that the language in which the book is written is ever so slightly archaic, which makes it a bit difficult at times - one has to read it carefully and intelligently! This didn't take away my enjoyment, but it did make it a little hard to get into in the first place - I actually started it twice before I could get beyond the first few pages. But I quickly got used to it, and it wasn't a problem from then on.

Yes, a good book - not a masterpiece, but well worth reading if you like the pirate genre.
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Historical Fiction often dabbles in certain time periods although some are more popular than others. Here in this offering is a naval tale in the spirit of Pirates of the Caribbean but darker with a more antihero protagonist than the usual rogue with a heart of gold.

Well written, with cracking naval action backed up by the authors love that whilst taking certain liberties with some of the vessels is purely in keeping in the entertainment area for the modern reader. It's a good bit of fun, its got some great dialogue but most of all the Pirate Devlin is one that will make many a reader want to sale the high sea's with. Great entertainment backed up with a crew of rogues that the reader will love to spend time around. Now pass the rum you scurvy dog.
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Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I hesitated more than once over The Pirate Devlin before deciding on a change of tack for my reading pleasure. I must admit the cover of the book put me off and seemed to support the possibility of dumbed-down literature; swashbuckling made into 'adventure.' In the end I fancied something fictional, something that may well connect to my Desmond Bagley, Alistair Maclean teenage paperbacks.

What I got was far beyond my expectations. The first thing that impressed me was the quality of the prose. From the 'wicked court of men' on page six to the 'whirling dervish of chain' on page 315: this is literature not a tabloid newspaper. The neutral narrator spins the non-linear narrative forward, backward and sideways with ease. The attention to detail adds to the sense of being in a scene and is never painted on.

History is a major character in the story. Politics can decide the squeeze of a trigger or the lowering of a gun. Inside a moment. Jacobite or Stuart hardly matters. I was especially impressed by the writing of a fight between men. Men who know exactly what each hand, each leg and foot will do because of their experience. It is not slow motion writing, it is highly charged renditions of exactly what is happening. Something timeless in the absence of fear.

The characterisation also belies stereotypical descriptions. It has to, beneath the uniforms, behind the drinking, there are grudges, preconceptions and follies. The tapestry of the pirate character is wonderfully free. Ugly. Attractive. Very exciting. If the author is reading this review; I would love to make the film of The Pirate Devlin.

Read The Pirate Devlin as a journey into 1717 or as a stark contrast to office secretary, coffee machine and free text messages on mobile phones. As good as a day off.
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As the title says, The Pirate Devlin is a book about piracy in the early 19th century (the golden age apparently), centering on Patrick Devlin and the man who unwittingly trained him, Captain John Coxon of the Royal Navy. Their paths take very different directions after an unfortunate meeting with the brigand Captain Seth Toombs. Devlin takes the dark side, joining the pirates and gaining fast-track promotion due to his skill with a sextant and a chart. Coxon is disgraced for losing his ship but does not forget the man who betrayed his faith and they are re-united spilling blood and fighting over the gold in the Caribbean finale.

This book has the full compliment of pirate and high-seas paraphernalia from cutlasses to tricorns, barrels of rum to treasure maps and is both lively, informative and for the most part, just a thoroughly good read. It's difficult to imagine pirates these days without thinking of a drunken Johnny Depp as the slurring and swaying Cap'n Jack Sparrow but Devlin is more of the Sean Bean type - tough and ruthless but with renard-like cunning to boot. Being honest, the finale was a bit confusing with boats here, there and everywhere, a burgeoning cast and double agents at work but it didn't spoil the enjoyment of both a raucous and refined adventure too much.

The author knows how to tell a tale and whilst he may be a bit too keen to demonstrate his naval knowledge (escutcheon, anybody?), readers who enjoy a wander around a maritime museum or enjoyed the recent BBC series The Empire of the Seas will like this.
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on 23 March 2010
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Johnny Depp has a lot to answer for reimagining the pirate as a slightly effeminate drunken rock star. For centuries pirates were a very real threat to the trade of many aspiring European nations and their history is surprisingly well known. Therefore, it is no shock that a set of historic fiction novels based around the end of the Pirate golden era has been released. In `The Pirate Devlin' writer Mark Keating has successfully launched a new series that is brimming with potential. The character of Devlin himself is very likable; not a pirate by choice, Devlin has taken on the role with gusto and slightly more morals than the average cut throat. Keating paints a very vivid picture of the era and mixes fictional adventures in a true historic context. It is clear that he knows the subject well, but won't let the truth get in the way of a good story.

One of the major issues with the book is that it feels so much like the first in a series. There are so many set ups, character reveals and potential avenues that the story itself is almost second to the introduction of the world. This bodes well in future books as there promises to be some great hi-jinx. However, for this book some elements feel a little flat as Keating over explains elements. Despite this small misgiving I found the book an excellent read and great fun. The action set pieces are well designed and I like the different characters that could potentially become series regulars. This is certainly a book that fans of the likes of the `Sharpe' series will love.
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VINE VOICEon 27 February 2010
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Having not really read much in the way of pirate books, I found The Pirate Devlin to be entertaining and quite an enjoyable read. Although at times, I felt that one may have appeared to know the mechanics of sailing, overall the story is absorbing. You shall not need to know about sails and the like as the author, having added such details to the story, does not weigh the reader down.

Mark Keating paints an absorbing tale of pirates roaming the seas and of the brotherhood to which pirates belong to.
Of course, no pirate story would be complete without gold and while you can see the twists in the story coming, it was nice to read through them to see how the story acted out.

The book closes nices and I look forward to the next chapter when Patrick Devlin will have to keep an eye over his shoulder for more than one foe.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 11 June 2011
This is my first foray into a pirate novel, and have to say i really enjoyed it, in similar fashion to Julian Stockwin it took me a few chapters to get into the flow of the book but i think that this is due to trying to get your head into the zone of a pirate, to start thinking like a pirate, to become part of their world, i dont think i ever really managed it, but i got closer.

The Pirates are a strange mix of contradictions, honour when it meets their code, yet blood thirsty back stabbing gits then next second.
Keating weaves his tale and his characters brilliantly, and as for the plot, he had me guessing at every turn, Devlin is a devious devious man.
I for one am looking forward to the next instalment...if as i hope there is one..
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on 27 July 2010
Another pirate novel but a great one. The cover blurb compared it with the famous Sharpe novels and at first i was a little unsure of this but once the story settled after a confusing introduction I could see and appreciate the comparison. The story is not original; a mixed band of drunken ruthless pirates that seem to represent most nations are attacking ships on the high seas and searching for buried gold BUT its well told with some interesting and likeable characters.

I look forward to any further installments as this seems to be the beginning of a series of adventures of the Pirate Patrick Devlin
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