Close your eyes and picture a pirate sitting on a beach. Let your brain relax and let the pirate be himself and watch what he does. Does he take a swig of rum? Start singing sea shanties to himself? Shout peculiar-yet-salty insults at whoever happens to walk by? Read from a book of poetry?
Odds are that final option isn’t one that sprung into your mind – pirates, as a rule, aren’t really considered to be history’s great poets, nor were they exactly patrons of the written arts. In fact, letters – save those of “marque” or “x” – were generally pretty useless to them. But this is probably because it wasn’t until 2008 that someone got around to collecting an anthology of pirate poetry. Had such a thing existed in the 1700’s, I’m sure many pirates would have taken their literary studies far more seriously. Continue reading
Let’s face it – it’s not exactly unheard of for a couple of folks to come up with the not-quite brilliant idea of, “Hey, let’s create a movie / comicbook / game / whatever starring a pirate chick with huge boobs – the plot will work itself out somehow, I’m certain.” And it’s for this reason that I’m always a tad skeptical when I see a cover that so prominently features a chesty she-pirate as the primary sales pitch.
I’m delighted to say that The Voyages of She Buccaneer is a comic that successfully dodges the above scenario. True, our heroine is quite the fetching lass with an ultra-healthy chest that constantly threatens to burst free of its scanty pirate-flag inspired captor, but the writers of the series wisely depend on sex-appeal far less than you might expect. Instead, The Voyages of She Buccaneer focus primarily on pirate action, exotic locals, and more than a little mysterious – if historically unlikely (though no more so than She Buccaneer’s attire) – supernatural elements. The artwork is attractive and vibrantly colored, and the content is surprisingly substantive, with a full mini-adventure per issue (commendable in these days when comics seem to be getting shorter and shorter.) Continue reading
In my time, I’d say I’ve read my fair share of pirate novels in a variety of genres. Historical fiction and non-fiction, of course – but also comedy, self-help, sci-fi… even mystery and instructional. But I didn’t much fathom the notion of reading a pirate book that was true, unadulterated fantasy. As in Dungeons&Dragons, Forgotten Realms type fantasy. Dark elves and trolls, demons and clerics – and yet that’s exactly what The Stowaway by R.A. Salvatore is.
The tale begins with a boy, Maimun, who’s being interrogated by pirates, and then continues with a series of flashbacks – recent and distant – that recount the tale of his life. And occasionally we return to the present for a brief glimpse at his pirate captor, who is indeed the sort of salty swab one would expect from a pirate novel of any genre. Continue reading
by Helen Hollick
Having previously read and reviewed Sea Witch by Helen Hollick, I was looking forward to checking out its sequel, Pirate Code, which seems to begin mere moments after Sea Witch concluded. We immediately join up with the tale’s protagonists, pirate Jesemiah Acorne and his – well, girlfriend I suppose (being as they’re so devoted to one another, girlfriend seems too weak a term. But since she’s married to another, she really can’t be otherwise), the witch Tiola. Tiola and Jesemiah are well occupied dealing with the difficulties of Tiola’s husband, who refuses to grant a divorce – but this distraction is soon eclipsed by the larger issue of England going to war with Spain, followed by Governor Woodes Rogers’ revocation of pirate amnesties for the purpose of pressing all able seamen into service. Continue reading
Capt. Hook: The Adventures of a Notorious Youth
by J.V. Hart
I loved this book. I freakin’ loved this book.
I’ll be honest – I’ve rarely given Captain Hook much thought. I’m not a particular fan of the Peter Pan story, and most depictions of its famous villain have left me rather indifferent. Jason Isaac’s incredible 2005 portrayal was a notable exception – but exactly that, an exception. So Hook in general? Meh.
All this has changed due to Capt. Hook: The Adventures of a Notorious Youth. This is the story of Hook before he was hook – back when he was merely James Matthew, the bastard child of a British Lord, and a new student at Eton. Continue reading
Nick of Time: an Adventure Through Time, by Ted Bell, is an aptly named book. Not only because its story involves time travel, but because the book itself seems like something from decades past. This is a proper boys’ adventure, full of ships, daring, submarines and heroes. Its very nature hails from an earlier time, making it a thrill and a delight to read.
The majority of the story takes place in England, in the years just prior to the full breakout of World War 2. Nick and his younger sister, Kate, reside with their parents on Greybeard Island – a quaint, sleepy sort of community that’s also full of history, reefs, and shipwrecks – and also happens to be strategically useful to the growing Nazi threat. It’s troubling times, made all the more so by the political bickering in Parliament regarding what to do about the impending danger, or if such danger even exists at all. Continue reading