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The History of Maritime Piracy

Cindy Vallar, Editor & Reviewer
P.O. Box 425, Keller, TX  76244-0425


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Books for Pirate Apprentices and Young Adults

Cover Art: Voyage of Plunder
Voyage of Plunder
by Michele Torrey
Knopf, 2005, ISBN 0-375-82383-2, US $15.95

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After his motherís death, Daniel Markham meets shadowy men who visit his fatherís house after dark and give him special gifts. The world he knows changes in his thirteenth year when his father weds Faith Grey, who is only three years older than Daniel. He is particularly dismayed to hear they must leave his beloved Boston for Jamaica. A suspicious vessel is sighted on the voyage, and Danielís father makes him promise to watch out for Faith and the child she carries. Once the pirates swarm over the ship, a horrified Daniel watches while the pirate captain, Josiah Black, kills his father. Danielís promise haunts him, for he never meant to keep it.  Now he has no choice, and when Faith falls ill, he barters for her safe deliverance ashore. In return, he makes himself hostage to the pirates, and enters a life he has no wish to experience.

Voyage of Plunder is a fast-paced novel written for young adults, but one that any pirate will want to read. The story captivates the reader from the start, and while some may surmise the ďtruthsĒ before Daniel does, no one will forget the final outcome. One of the strengths of this story is the seamless way in which Ms. Torrey inserts facts into the fiction to accurately portray pirates and the life they lived.

Although Daniel seems naÔve at times, he deals with difficult issues and hard truths, and usually grows in wisdom and understanding. He never wants to be a pirate, yet he becomes one. There is no romanticism of piracy here, and that makes the story special. The climax is astounding and heartbreaking, and the author deftly shows how different interpretations can have a lasting and sometimes tragic effect on us all.

Read an Excerpt
Meet Michele Torrey


Book Review Copyright ©2005 Cindy Vallar

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