Saturday, February 20, 2016
New Review: Valerie Vayle’s SEAFLAME – Strong Women who are Pirates!
I read this because I had already read and reviewed books 1 and 3 in the Pirates trilogy and liked them. While Vayle writes well and tells a good story with lots of historical detail woven in, which appeals to me, this story has some aspects that will not appeal to all, mostly related to the morals of the main characters.
Genevieve Faunton, as a young girl, was living on an island in the Caribbean with her mother and older sister (and possibly a pirate father) when she was captured by pirates and sold to a well-meaning but coddling woman who made Genevieve her ward. Years later, she married and was widowed from the woman’s son (who, by all accounts, was not missed). On her way back to England from the West Indies, Genevieve’s ship is attacked by pirates, but this ship, the Black Angel, is captained by a woman—Evonne Meadows—who turns out to be Genevieve’s long lost sister.
To make a long summary shorter, Genevieve joins her sister in piracy and they fall in with two British rakes, Jean-Michael (“Michael”, French born but British raised, who serves the English king) and Robert St. Justine (a ne’er do well aristocrat Evonne takes captive and then invites to her bed). Genevieve's main desire is to find her mother (who, it turns out, is another charming pirate).
I was enjoying the adventure when half way through the book, Genevieve, who struck up an intimate relationship with Jean-Michael (just called “Michael”), sleeps with Robert when Michael goes off on some mission. Right. Well, there’s lots more in this 440-page story. Michael is a fun-loving, horse-stealing spy who eventually decides he cares for Genevieve. Robert, who dallies with many, suddenly falls for a young debutante. Frankly, while I liked Genevieve, I would have been happier if the female leads didn’t have the morals of an alley cat. Still, for those who don’t mind that, it’s a historically accurate, detailed fun read.
Note: I’ve read the whole trilogy and though I liked book 1 very much, I think Oriana is the best. The first two are related (Garlanda and Rogue, the heroine and hero in book 1, appear in book 2) but the third is more a stand alone. You'll have to get them used in paper but Amazon has them. (Just click on the book titles below.)