Cindy Vallar, Editor & Reviewer
P.O. Box 425, Keller, TX 76244-0425
Books for Pirate Apprentices and Young Adults
The Dagger Quick
At twelve years of age, Kitto Wheale often finds himself in trouble. Either Simon Sneed and his fellow bullies are after him or he spends too much time down at the seawall, longing to sail on one of the vessels going out with the tide – a dream that seems impossible because of his club foot. When a sea captain visits his father’s cooperage, Kitto discovers that his real name is Quick and that the sea captain is his uncle. Before his father became a respectable cooper, he and Uncle William were members of Henry Morgan’s crew until they stole some of Morgan’s treasure.
After Frederick Wheale went straight, William turned to piracy and spent seven years in a Spanish prison. Now he and his fellow pirates of the Blessed William intend to retrieve the stolen treasure, but to do so they need Frederick and Kitto’s help. But William isn’t the only one in search of the stolen loot. Morgan’s henchmen Captain John Morris and Spider have followed Quick to England, and in an attempt to capture Frederick, he is slain and Kitto is wanted for his murder.
Uncle William rescues Kitto, who vows to fulfill his father’s promise to assist in recovering the treasure. The one problem is that William knows there’s a traitor aboard, but he doesn’t know who. Then news arrives that Morris intends to sell Kitto’s six-year-old brother, Duck, to an African tribal chieftain as a slave, and use Sarah, Kitto’s stepmother as bait to secure the treasure. Will Kitto be able to rescue Duck before it’s too late? Will they be able to save Sarah? And who amongst them has betrayed them to Morris?
Set during 1678, The Dagger Quick is a fast-paced action adventure tale whose main character doesn’t fit in and feels sorry for himself, yet as the story progresses, he finds his inner strength that allows him to cope with his club foot and become a young man who can lead others and face danger, especially to keep others safe. The other members of the cast are equally well-drawn and complex, which is especially true as the reader learns early on who the traitor is and discovers that why he betrays Quick and his other mates isn’t as clear-cut a deed as one might expect. I thoroughly enjoyed this tale, which is written for young pirate readers, but the ending was a bit of a letdown because some issues are resolved while others remain open.
Review Copyrighted ©2011 Cindy Vallar
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