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Cindy Vallar, Editor & Reviewer
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          Pirate Raiders
The Pirate Raiders
By C. G. Mosley
Severed Press, 2017, ISBN 978-1-925597-95-0, US $10.95
Also available as an e-book

StarStarStarStarStar
Death immediate. Death delayed. Not much of a choice, but captured pirates can’t be choosy. Governor Winters of Jamaica offers the notorious Captain Redd a choice. On the morrow he can dance the hempen jig, or he can earn a royal pardon. Sounds like a no brainer, but Redd has escaped capture this long knowing nothing is that easy. That missing detail is a big one, and the reason either side of justice’s scales weigh heavily in favor of death immediate or death delayed. After all, the likelihood of surviving the latter option is less than nil. But as the governor reminds Redd, he is a pirate with a reputation of being quite resourceful when the need arises.

Redd, of course, opts for a chance of obtaining that royal pardon . . . as long as his crew is released too. Not exactly what the governor wants, but he is in a tight spot and Redd is the only person who has even an inkling of success. Winters even provides a sloop for the pirates, but as Redd knows only too well, what chance does a sloop have when the pirate Redd is pursuing has a formidable galleon? Pursue a fellow scoundrel. Sounds simple, but this is no ordinary pirate. Captain Winston Trimble isn’t known for niceties; after all, he flies the red flag – no quarter given, no mercy asked – no matter whether the potential prize belongs to a merchant, the navy, or even a pirate. Oh, and did I forget to mention he now possesses King Solomon’s signet ring – the one that can summon the kraken from the depths of the sea?

Finding Trimble won’t be easy. He has a reputation for being quite elusive. Luckily, Winters has a solution to that problem. Also caged within the prison is a young pirate whom Trimble marooned. Being the governor, though, Winters cannot just release a condemned pirate. Again, that would make things too easy. No, Redd and his mates must snatch him as he’s transferred from the gaol to the place of execution. Oh, and did I mention that if you’re caught, you and your mates will hang beside Andy Bonnet?

Intriguing twists to resolve unfathomable problems are spiced with black magic, a pirate with unusual pets having healthy appetites, and rabid cannibals. Mosley also includes a pinch of horror, just enough to whet readers’ appetites without grossing them out. He deftly spins a tale that seems very real, although there are two minor historical quibbles – galleons as pirate ships and bicornes instead of tricornes – for those familiar with Golden Age piracy. Told in first person, Pirate Raiders is a gripping swashbuckler that puts readers into Captain Redd’s shoes as he confronts dastardly villains at every turn, myriad roadblocks to hamper the journey, and daring rescues that border on the impossible. A rousing adventure not to be missed.

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  Review Copyrighted ©2020 Cindy Vallar

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