Friday, July 20, 2012

Tall Ship Tales

With the start of the Halifax Tall Ships Festival it seems a great time to consider a few new swashbuckling novels.

Armada (M)
by John Stack

"1587. After decades of religious strife, Elizabeth sits on the throne of England. Catholic revolts have been ruthlessly quashed and Elizabeth has ordered the execution of her cousin, Mary Queen of Scots. Only at sea do the English show their teeth. Sea captains and adventurers, hungry for the spoils of trade from the Spanish Main, regularly attack the gold-laden galleons of Catholic Spain. Thomas Varian is a captain in Drake's formidable navy, rising quickly through the ranks. But he guards a secret, one for which he would pay with his life if discovered: he is a Catholic. He is about to find his conflicting loyalty to his religion, to his Queen and to his country tested under the most formidable of circumstances: facing the mighty Armada. Unknown to Varian, he will also be facing his long-estranged father, who is fighting on the side of the Spanish enemy."--Publisher

Reefs and Shoals (M)
by Dewey Lambdin

"In the latest Alan Lewrie adventure, set in 1805, the British naval captain is issued new orders: take his ship, HMS Reliant, to the Bahamas, there to engage French and Spanish privateers that are preying on friendly convoys. The novel, as with previous entries in the series, is a hugely entertaining naval adventure (a la Forester and O'Brian) with a different kind of protagonist. Lewrie isn't your typical career navy man but rather a bit of a gadabout, a womanizer, a lover of fine foods and warm clothes, whose naval career is based more on a love of adventure than any sense of patriotic duty to his country.

The novel is written as though it were a contemporary account, with era-appropriate word spellings ( damme, fourty ), slang, and dialogue ( Cap'um's on deck! ). Not merely a worthy entry in the very popular Lewrie series but a top-of-the-line naval adventure that can be thoroughly enjoyed by readers who've never met Captain Lewrie until now." - Booklist

The Rogue Pirate's Bride (M)
by Shana Galen

Raeven Russell is going to kill Captain Cutlass. The pirate captain, otherwise known as Bastien, had recklessly engaged Raeven's fiance, Captain Timothy Bowers, in battle, which ultimately led to Timothy's death. Now Raeven wants revenge. When her first attempt to skewer Bastien fails, Raeven manages to escape becoming his permanent cabin girl. Six months later, Raeven encounters Bastien in Gibraltar, and this time she is determined to finish the job once and for all. However, it would seem that Raeven is not the only one trying to put an end to the sexy pirate's existence. Still, Raeven doesn't just want Bastien dead: she wants to be the one responsible for sending him to his just rewards.

Galen's latest old-school historical offers a nonstop, swashbuckling plot that will keep readers on the edge of their seats, while the passion-rich romance that develops between her bold, impetuous heroine and sinfully sexy hero will have them sighing with satisfaction." - Booklist

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