Friday, February 9, 2018
Cordia Byers’s PIRATE ROYALE – Absorbing 17th Century Pirate Story…a Keeper!
A classic tale of adventure and love set in the late 17th century, it features the real pirate and privateer Henry Morgan who, along with his buccaneers, successfully attacked the Spanish settlements of Puerto Principe in Cuba and Porto Bello in what is today Panama.
Royale Carrington was John Carrington’s daughter and, as such, commanded the respect of the seamen who served under her when she dressed as a man and wielded a sword with fierce expertise. As captain of her own ship, she was prepared to fight King Charles II’s wardship over her and his refusal to grant her a letter of marque. Instead, she took to the sea as a pirate, robbing the Spanish of their gold.
On the night before Royale is to set sail, she is kidnapped by the crew of the pirate El Diablo, thinking she’d make a fine offering for their mysterious captain. El Diablo asks for a kiss to release her, but then takes her innocence instead. Though he would keep her, she will have none of it.
One of the things I loved about this story was that Royale got away from the pirate who captured her. I just love it when the feisty heroine outsmarts the arrogant male who thinks he will have his way. El Diablo (who is really Sir Bran Langston on a mission for King Charles) soon realizes that the young virgin he has deflowered is the ward of the King, the woman he has been sent to protect.
This is a well-written tale with lots of action—a classic story of pirates and love in the Caribbean as the British fight the Spanish for control. Byers does a wonderful job of integrating the real history of Henry Morgan’s escapades and his personality. I loved the heroine who was strong and smart yet very feminine. And the hero, while certainly not perfect, was at least consistent in his pursuit of the elusive female pirate who takes her revenge by seizing ships in El Diablo’s name.