4 out of 4 stars
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Brandy, Ballad of a Pirate Princess by Dan E. Hendrickson is about a girl raised by pirates. Brandy’s mother is the hot-tempered Scarlet Mistress, and her father is Captain Eric Erasmus, better known as “The Plague.” Both of Brandy’s parents have been pirates since before her birth on the Red Witch 15 years ago. First mate, Don Lomoche, kills Captain Erasmus after notifying Admiral Bennets of the Navy Fleet who the Scarlet Mistress is. Her mother’s real name was Katrina Mooney, who had killed her master after being sold into slavery when she was 13-years-old. Her master was King George’s cousin, and she has been on the run from execution ever since. Admiral Bennets prepares to hang her onboard her ship, but before he can, she curses the crew by telling them only her heir can release them from the Red Witch curse, flings herself overboard, and hangs herself. Brandy and her Uncle Skinner disguise themselves to blend in with the prisoners below deck and taken to Jamaica as slaves. Before her death, Brandy’s mother tells her she has two choices: she can either reclaim Red Witch or live life on land. Admiral Bennets gives Don Lomoche ownership of the Red Witch. What life does Bandy choose? Does she rightfully take back the Red Witch?
I like many things about this book. Firstly, the author uses subheadings that helped me understand the distance traveled between locations. Secondly, the author provides vivid descriptions of the events on the Caribbean islands and the sea. I could easily imagine the pirate battles on the ships, the slaves fleeing for safety, and ships cresting huge waves during hurricanes. Thirdly, the book was full of suspense and kept me guessing as to how it would end. Finally, there are a few lessons to learn in this book. Some of my favorites are that free men work harder when they earn something they can appreciate and enjoy, love is more powerful than hate, and the reality of fate is that it can be both kind and cruel.
There was nothing I disliked about this book. I had to appreciate that pirates do not know how to speak or think using correct grammar. I continually had to stop myself from wanting to count errors that were not actual errors. When incorrect grammar was not in dialogue, I had to pay close attention to whom the thought processes belonged. This book is fast-paced and action-packed, with battles and love mingled throughout the plot.
The author has done a great job writing this book and keeping the plot flowing from page to page. The book appears to have been edited by a professional editor, as I only found two small errors in the entire book. For these reasons, I gladly give this book 4 out of 4 stars.
I recommend this book to readers who enjoy historical fiction about pirates. There are some borderline profanity and mild sexual content, but it is appropriate for teenagers and older. The gory battle scenes and slavery conditions may make sensitive readers uncomfortable. I will caution atheists that there is a small amount of religious content involving prayers and discussion of the Bible, but it probably will not be offensive to most readers.
Brandy Ballad of a Pirate Princes
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