Friday, February 8, 2013

New Review: Rebecca Hart’s CALL OF THE SEA – Unusual 17th Century Historical Romance on the High Seas—Pirates, Privateers and a Selkie!

Set in the 17th century in England, Gibraltar and on the sea, this is the story of Elysandra (“Ellie”) Winters, the young daughter of a ship’s captain who has always wanted to join her father in his life at sea. Daniel O'Rourke, who lives part of his life in the sea as a selkie, upon seeing the love between the 10 year-old Ellie and her father, decides to take a job with Ellie’s father on his ship, Siren's Call. However, his first assignment is not as the cabin boy he will become, but to protect the captain’s daughter.

Soon, Ellie’s father sends her away to school. After five years, Ellie decides she’s had enough, and at 15, disguises herself as a boy and runs away to sea on a competitor’s ship, much to the dismay of her mother.

Years later, after Daniel has been at sea with Captain Winters and promoted to First Mate, and Ellie has become a favored crewmember on another ship, the leader of a band of bloodthirsty Corsair pirates murders Captain Winters off the coast of Gibraltar. Ellie’s captain saves her father’s ship, and Daniel and Ellie are thrown together to seek vengeance for the death of the man they both loved.

Hart weaves an intriguing tale and seamlessly integrates the fantasy element so it seems a part of the reality. Daniel is a worthy hero who accepts his lot in life but works hard to attain the approval of Ellie’s father—and Ellie’s love. One had to feel sorry for Ellie who lost years of her father’s love thinking he did not understand her. But, alas, such is life. The story has some great action scenes and some tender moments. I do think that the ending seemed a bit rushed and would have liked an added last chapter, but all in all, it was very enjoyable. I recommend it.

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