I love pirates – the ones I can read about and not have to face (or smell) in real life. Here are five books that deal with pirates as either the enemy or a status towards which the hero/heroine aspires.
Synopsis: Nancy Kington, daughter of a rich merchant, suddenly orphaned when her father dies, is sent to live on her family’s plantation in Jamaica. Disgusted by the treatment of the slaves and her brother’s willingness to marry her off, she and one of the slaves, Minerva, run away and join a band of pirates. For both girls the pirate life is their only chance for freedom in a society where both are treated like property, rather than individuals. Together they go in search of adventure, love, and a new life that breaks all restrictions of gender, race, and position. Told through Nancy’s writings, their adventures will appeal to readers across the spectrum and around the world.
Life as a ship’s boy aboard HMS Dolphin is a dream come true for Jacky Faber. Gone are the days of scavenging for food and fighting for survival on the streets of eighteenth-century London. Instead, Jacky is becoming a skilled and respected sailor as the crew pursues pirates on the high seas.
There’s only one problem: Jacky is a girl. And she will have to use every bit of her spirit, wit, and courage to keep the crew from discovering her secret. This could be the adventure of her life–if only she doesn’t get caught. . . .
Features the indomitable Cat Royal who turns pirate, undertakes a Caribbean Cruise and gets mixed up in a slave revolt.
4. Treasure Island – R. L. Stevenson
The most popular pirate story ever written in English, featuring one of literature’s most beloved “bad guys,” Treasure Island has been happily devoured by several generations of boys—and girls—and grownups. Its unforgettable characters include: young Jim Hawkins, who finds himself owner of a map to Treasure Island, where the fabled pirate booty is buried; honest Captain Smollett, heroic Dr. Livesey, and the good-hearted but obtuse Squire Trelawney, who help Jim on his quest for the treasure; the frightening Blind Pew, double-dealing Israel Hands, and seemingly mad Ben Gunn, buccaneers of varying shades of menace; and, of course, garrulous, affable, ambiguous Long John Silver, who is one moment a friendly, laughing, one-legged sea-cook . . .and the next a dangerous pirate leader!
The unexpected and complex relationship that develops between Silver and Jim helps transform what seems at first to be a simple, rip-roaring adventure story into a deeply moving study of a boy’s growth into manhood, as he learns hard lessons about friendship, loyalty, courage and honor—and the uncertain meaning of good and evil.
Sixteen-year-old Jill has fought in dozens of fencing tournaments, but she has never held a sharpened blade. When she finds a corroded sword piece on a Caribbean beach, she is instantly intrigued and pockets it as her own personal treasure.
The broken tip holds secrets, though, and it transports Jill through time to the deck of a pirate ship. Stranded in the past and surrounded by strangers, she is forced to sign on as crew. But a pirate’s life is bloody and brief, and as Jill learns about the dark magic that brought her there, she forms a desperate scheme to get home—one that risks everything in a duel to the death with a villainous pirate captain.
Random Magic Tour: Pirates!
Bonus: Free audio book: The Frozen Pirate
As part of Random Magic Tour: Pirates! (TOUR SCHED), it’d be fun to swap some great pirate yarns – or just listen to a few great tales about the sweet trade, the black flag, pirate queens or the Brethren of the Coast.
On this blog, you can listen to the audio book The Frozen Pirate, by W. Clark Russell. Here are some quick notes on this
offbeat pirate tale:
‘Do you like old books about pirates? What about books about old frozen pirates? If the answer to those questions is “yes,” then we’ve got a great audio book for you. Here’s a review, circa 1888, of The Frozen Pirate by W. Clark Russell:
“There has been no finer story of…adventure at once so thrilling, so strange, and so realistic. In vivid beauty and effect, there are passages transcending anything in The Wreck of the Grosvenor or in The Golden Hope, and than this no higher praise could be given. It did not need The Frozen Pirate to place Mr. Russell indisputably foremost among all living writers of sea life, but if there were any lingering doubt, this romance would settle the uncertainty.” (Academy)
Amongst its more ardent fans are Dr. John Watson of 221B Baker Street and H.P. Lovecraft. Sailing adventure with storms, icebergs, shipwrecks, treasure, and the reawakening of a pirate frozen in suspended animation for nearly fifty years. First published as a serial in 1887 in “Belgravia, an illustrated London magazine.”
Yep, it has all that and a frozen pirate, too!’ – SFFaudio
If you enjoy the stories, you can download a free MP3 version of this classic book:
Listen to or download audio book (MP3 format) The Frozen Pirate , by W. Clark Russell Courtesy of LibriVox, SFFaudio
The pirate tour is related to the book Random Magic, which has some great pirate scenes, although no scenes with frozen pirates – lots of thrilling, strange and vivid beauty, though.
About Random Magic:
When absent-minded Professor Random misplaces the main character from Alice in Wonderland, young Henry Witherspoon must book-jump to fetch Alice before chaos theory kicks in and the world vanishes.
Along the way he meets Winnie Flapjack, a wit-cracking doodle witch with nothing to her name but a magic feather and a plan. Such as it is.
Henry and Winnie brave the Dark Queen, whatwolves, pirates, Strüths, and fluttersmoths, Priscilla and Charybdis, obnoxiously cheerful vampires, Baron Samedi, a nine-dimensional cat, and one perpetually inebriated Muse to rescue Alice and save the world by tea time.
If you’d like to find some more fun pirate features, feel free to visit Random Magic Tour: Pirates! (TOUR SCHED) for reviews, video features, photo galleries and more free audio books about pirates and other seafaring rebels.
Also – browse costumes for stylish corsairs, sing along to rowdy sea shanties, or read some interesting tidbits about the Golden Age of Piracy.
You might also have fun reading about seafaring grub, pirate slang, or famous pirate queens (Pirate Queens series), or just checking out some great pirate quotes from Random Magic.
All told, it’s a treasure trove of all things piratical. If it sounds like fun, feel free to jump aboard as we weigh anchor and hoist the mizzen. Yo-ho-ho!