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The Sallee Rovers (Pirates of the Narrow Seas) [Kindle Edition]

M. Kei
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $12.00
Kindle Price: $4.99
You Save: $7.01 (58%)

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Book Description

Lieutenant Peter Thorton of the 18th century British navy must struggle to come out gay while surviving storms at sea, ship-to-ship battles, duels, kidnapping, and more in his quest for true love and honor. The Sallee Rovers, Book One of The Pirates of the Narrow Seas Trilogy is an expertly crafted swashbuckler brimming with authentic detail and fully realized portraits of life at sea, written by a tall ship sailor and internationally acclaimed poet.

“Pirates of the Narrow Seas was a dashing good tale full of adventure and mayhem." ~Sage Whistler, author of Broken

“Nail-bitingly intense...I highly recommend that you rush out and get this book.” ~Alex Beecroft, author of False Colors

Winner of a Sweet Revolution Award for “Best Full Cast” and “Judge's Pick”

Editorial Reviews


 "the world from the corsair point of view [...]  The various characters are given well rounded individual personalities which it is a joy to follow" --Astrodene's Historic Naval Fiction

"an action-packed swashbuckler of the Captain Blood tradition [...] taut, fast paced and engrossing.  The characters both large and small are well drawn, and appealing in their individual ways" --That's All She Read

"A swashbuckling tale full of colour, adventure and romance - a good read!"--Gerry Burnie, Gerry B's Book Reviews

From the Back Cover

"I've read this book several time and each time has kept me spellbound. The romance is handled with such class and sensuality that I was completely enthralled . . . set against a compelling and highly detailed background of history, nautical derring-do, and quick-paced action. I am desperate for additional novels in the series to be released. This is a great read!" --Chele Kraus

Product Details

  • File Size: 616 KB
  • Print Length: 282 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0615521363
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Bristlecone Pine Press (May 21, 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #450,594 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
The Sallee Rovers by M. Kei [Bristlecone Pine Press, 2010] is the first of the Pirates of the Narrow Seas trilogy and, according to his bio, the author is not only an experienced sailor, but has also experienced many of the risks and challenges described in the story. He can therefore rightfully claim his status as an authority. Having said that, I must admit that I wouldn't know the difference between a marlinspike and a hat pin. Nevertheless, when the discussion got tactical I had no difficulty following it, nor did I find that it burdened the story--that is, not at first.

In this book we are introduced to Lieutenant Peter Thornton, a likeable sort but insecure in his role. This is partly due to being eclipsed by his best friend, Roger Perry (with whom he is secretly in love); being a partial orphan, and being new to his commission. As luck would have it--or perhaps not--he and Perry are both given assignments aboard HMS "Ajax." The not-so-lucky part is the rather pompous and acerbic master--i.e. Captain Bishop. Moreover, matters are made worse for Thornton because Bishop takes an arbitrary disliking for him, such that he can do no right.

The plot thickens when the Ajax comes upon a sinking Spanish galleon in distress, and Peter and a crew are sent aboard to free the enchained, galley slaves in order to give them a chance at survival. One of these is a commanding, Sallee Turk, who prior to his capture was a high-ranking captain of the Sallee Rovers (i.e. pirates).

Somewhat true to his nature Bishop sets them adrift to save his own skin, and Peter and two other crew members are abandoned aboard the sinking galleon. Joining forces with the Sallee Turk, Captain Tangle, the galleon is saved and Peter becomes the right-hand confident of the swashbuckling Tangle.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Conflicting Desires September 19, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
M. Kei has written a swashbuckling historical/nautical novel every bit as exciting as C. S. Forester's Horatio Hornblower series. I read the latter series as a teenager and enjoyed the coming of age stories in the British Navy during the Napoleonic era. Pirates of the Narrow Seas: The Sallee Rovers is the first in a series also, and I plan to read all of them.

M. Kei's novel is more than the beginning of the exciting adventures of Peter Thornton, a young man who ran away from home when he was just a boy and signed on to the first ship he could find. It is richly detailed in terms of 18th Century history of England, France, Spain, and Northern Africa. The focus is on sailing in times of war, and nautical terms are used that require the use of the Kindle's dictionary and more advanced sources for definitions. The novel offers a very good learning opportunity about sailing in a variety of ships.

The novel also is much more than a replication of the maturation of Horatio Hornblower and description of naval action in war. Peter Thornton is gay with repressed desires held in check by strict adherence to his code of duty as a Lieutenant in the British Navy. Being true to himself and to his allegiance to the Navy cause conflict in his interaction with other characters. Peter's tension makes him rigid and recalcitrant causing his captain to single him out for harsh treatment. Of course, Captain Bishop does not know the reason for the anxiety because Peter keeps it a secret. The charge of homosexuality in British naval service, as in our own military until recently, would lead to harsh punishment.

The novel is not limited to nautical action, history, and sexuality, it also involves religious beliefs.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A surprisingly good read August 22, 2010
This novel has been a surprising love affair for me. I picked it up out of boredom and because I had been a sailor in my youth, so nautical books tend to interest me on a light level. However, the characters in this book are wonderfully crafted, and I began to actually take a keen interest in them, and was flipping pages to quickly get to their next event. The nautical background is amazing, and there's a great balance of 'proper' English seamen and 'roguish pirates' to make things stay interesting. I found the views on the Muslim religion very eye-opening, especially given today's views. I don't want to give away the plot and the story, but suffice it to say that from the first page, I felt like I was listening to a well-told adventure coming from an old friend. I couldn't wait for the next chapter to begin, and when the book was done, I was quick to go after #2. And #3 will be fast on the heels of that one. I love the visons that the descriptions create, and can definitely see this as a fantastic movie! The gay component is really not a fixation, and simply is an interesting twist on a romantic tale, rather than an overpowering theme. The theme is about loyalty, overcoming bad choices and bad situations with grace, and learning who someone is, deep inside. A wonderful read, and I wholly recommend it to anyone who loves nautical ficture, swashbuckling and a fantastic story!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
By Elisa
As usual when I read an historical novel I try to judge it more for the feeling it left me than for the details accuracy. Truth, if the author did a lot of mistakes, I really can't enjoy it. I think M. Kei is pretty accurate in his description even if, in my historical ignorance, I really am not able to put a precise date for the events: it's a period in which France and England are not at war between each other, it's a period when the Sallee Republic was at war with Spain (I for example had to check where and when the Sallee Republic existed).

Regardless the period, sodomy is still a hanging crime in the British naval army and Lieutenant Peter Thornton well knows it. Why he chose to enlist is still a mystery to me, since he ran away from home right for that reason, he was found out groping a fellow boy; before that, he was supposed to follow his stepfather's trails as a preacher, after that, he has no family and home. He said that enlist was his only chance, but still I think that it was a poor chance due to his preferences in matter of sex.

Other than the obviously trouble he is facing, there is also the little factor that Peter is not exactly a "hero". He is a good officer, but he is maybe a little to stick to the book. He is good to follow order, but I don't see him much in the role of captain. Peter has too much of a kind soul, he will forgive everything and everyone.

At the beginning of the novel, he is pining over his fellow lieutenant Roger Perry, who is actually a good guy, but also as straight as it comes. It's quite an unrequited love, even if Roger loves him as a brother; he would never consider being something more for Peter.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A nice surprise
This book was a nice surprise. In the past I have read the books of C. S. Forrester and Patrick O'Brien and rate this book's storyline as fun and exciting as those other two... Read more
Published 9 months ago by Kenn France
4.0 out of 5 stars Had Horatio and Jack been gay...
I always wished that Horatio Hornblower and Jack Aubrey would get themselves boyfriends. Thank god for British naval Lt. Peter Thorton, the protagonist of M. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Scratches my Sea-Faring adventure itch
It's nice to have a story like this told from another point of view. More than one actually. The hero is gay. Read more
Published 17 months ago by J. Stanton
3.0 out of 5 stars Not a bad read, but very lacking in the m/m
Overall the story held my interest. My major disappointment is that, although the main character is gay, there is nothing that could really be called a romance. Read more
Published 18 months ago by MplsBill
5.0 out of 5 stars A Good Horatio Alger type Story
I've enjoyed M. Kei's books for several reasons. First, I love historical novels that really focus on the way people of all walks of life and social status lived their daily lives... Read more
Published on December 18, 2012 by Early Bird
5.0 out of 5 stars A Powerful, Spell-Binding Tale!
"The Sallee Rovers" is book one of M. Kei's swashbuckling series, "Pirates of the Narrow Seas." Anticipating the author's newest novel, "Man in the Crescent Moon," and tales of... Read more
Published on November 3, 2012 by Yancy
5.0 out of 5 stars Terrific!
I love reading gay historical novels especially Royal Navel settings. This book is a wonderful story and doesn't have graphic sex scenes.
Published on December 4, 2011 by Keith W
5.0 out of 5 stars A Sweeping, Grand Historical Adventure
I consider Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World the ultimate chick flick. What's not to love about gorgeous men in frock coats, cravats and swords? Read more
Published on September 7, 2011 by The Fountain Pen Diva
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic!
I'm not going to give a play-by-play on the book, others have done that already. However, I'm just going to say that this is a perfect book to curl up on the couch with for the... Read more
Published on December 3, 2010 by Michele Pelkonen
4.0 out of 5 stars A swashbuckling tale full of colour, adventure and romance--a darn...
The "Sallee Rovers" by M. Kei [Bristlecone Pine Press, 2010] is the first of the "Pirates of the Narrow Seas" trilogy and, according to his bio, the author is not only an... Read more
Published on August 15, 2010 by Gerry A. Burnie
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More About the Author

M. Kei is a tall ship sailor and award-winning poet. He is the editor-in-chief of the anthology series, Take Five : Best Contemporary Tanka, and the author of Slow Motion : The Log of a Chesapeake Bay Skipjack, a log kept in verse form which is Recommend Reading by the Chesapeake Bay Project (USA). He has edited and authored several other books of poetry and a major journal, Atlas Poetica : A Journal of Poetry of Place in Contemporary Tanka. He is also the author of the award-winning gay Age of Sail adventure novels, Pirates of the Narrow Seas. The first novel may be read for free online at: He can be reached through or follow him on Twitter @kujakupoet

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