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The Black Banner Paperback – September 25, 2015
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"Not since Treasure Island have we had such a fast- paced swashbuckling yarn come out of Bristol, and this time the hero's a heroine! With excitement and plot twists a plenty, Robert Louis Stevenson would have been proud. Look out for some ghosts from Bristol's rich maritime past - " Mark Steeds, Secretary - Long John Silver Trust, Bristol "The perfect combination of Treasure Island and Pirates of the Caribbean for young girls - the author captures the spirit and sound of the period as she whisks the reader back in time and immerses them in an era of upheaval and adventure. The characters are richly drawn and the dialogue rings true." Patricia Rockwell, author & publisher "Sail away on a swashbuckling adventure aboard the Bonny Marie with young Billy Baxter - who is not the boy he pretends to be! The Black Banner has it all - pirates, plunder, and the pleasure of a rollocking good read!" Helen Hollick, author of the Sea Witch series
About the Author
Helen Hart has written novels under various pen-names including Maya Snow (Sisters of the Sword Bks 1 & 2) and Sebastian Rook (Vampire Plagues Bks 4, 5 & 6). This is the first book to feature her own name on the cover! For more background and a selection of writers tips, please visit her author site.
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Top Customer Reviews
Becky Baxter runs away from an abusive life at home around the age of thirteen. She's not really certain about that herself. Disguising herself as a boy, thus becoming Billy Baxter, she signs up as a dab hand with eleven other crew on a ship bound for the Windward Isles from Bristol, England. When the voyage is interrupted by a pirate attack, Billy chooses to join them rather than be killed.
The action is non-stop and exciting with believable and colourful characters, many of which are extremely likable. The story touches on gender issues and the moral conflicts Becky/Billy faces as she matures during this time. Intrigue, passion (for life, not lust), suspense and romance keep the reader engaged from beginning to end. In fact, definitely not a YA reader, I found it to be great fun!
The author and publisher sent me a copy of this book for review (thank you). You can purchase a copy on Amazon right now, it was published in June.
This is a rollicking good tale about a young girl escaping her mother's drunkenness and a future forced marriage to an old man. She manages to get signed on a ship and leaves her old home behind, but she has to work like the devil and toughen up to keep up with her work requirements.
Pirates and ship captains were both unforgiving and mostly mean. This book is written for young adults so while there are enough of the horrors of ship life revealed, "Billy" finds a kind pirate captain and has a better chance at life because of it.
No one is going to get bored while reading this story. There's good interaction between the characters, the action is hot, and the soldiers are after them to stop pirating. This is a good read, get a copy!
Immediately, she meets up with Zac Price who's sporting a pocket of gold and fresh from his latest voyage out to sea. Becky longs for a life outside of London and is captivated by Zac's tales of the Carribean. After helping Zac by extracting his ship mate, Uriah Flubb, from the local establishment, Becky wins herself a place on the merchant vesselThe Bonny Marie under the heartless Captain Scabrill and the journey begins.
Though Becky is constantly on the watch for those that would find out her secret, including Flubb, who always seems to be watching her, she quickly becomes as able as many a seasoned sailor. Jamaica bound, the ship speeds through the waters; each day the sun feels warmer on her face. Then bad luck strikes and the vessel is captured by a group of pirates, led by the arresting Logan Corder. Becky must make a choice as to whether to join the pirates or die.
At the urging of mentor and friend Tarron Jones, Becky signs on as a pirate, but is surprised at how much she enjoys her new life. After working under Scabrill who physically and verbally abused the crew, Logan is a caring leader, who has earned the respect of his crew. When he discovers that Billy is in fact a girl, he chooses to keep our heroine on the ship, now rechristened The Masquerade, and teaches her in the ways of pirate life.
Corder's ship flies across the Carribean, taking more and more ships down and picking up gold from the Spanish and Portugese, as well as their own countrymen. Then, the British Navy, with a new focus on the extinction of piracy, led by Governor Woodes Rogers puts a price on Logan's head. Will the crew of the Masquerade be captured? What will become of Becky Baxter?
Author, Helen Hart
When I first started The Black Banner, I have to admit that I really wondered if it would be for me. Pirates are not normally my cup of tea unless they are of the Johnny Depp variety and then only because he's a throwback to my more lively times in the eighties. However, I quickly found that even I, a working mom of two, could easily identify with the feisty Becky Baxter.
I was impressed by Hart's treatment of the pirate crew. They came across, surprisingly, as true gentlemen, whereas the honest Englishmen and women were portayed as obnoxious at best with a few exceptions. I anticipated disliking the pirates, but found myself rooting for them instead.
This book was so well-written and thoroughly researched, that the quality of the product is evident throughout The Black Banner. Hart's writing instantly transports the reader to another time and place, with rich text that practically pulls you straight through the pages.
My only criticism, and I have only one, is that it ended! I felt like there was so much more to experience with Becky! If you are looking for a wonderful read for your daughters, your sons, or yourself, pick up your copy of The Black Banner today and prepare to be transported into an adventure unlike any other.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Becky Baxter seizes a chance opportunity to escape her drunken mother and threat of sexual servitude to her mother's unsavory friend...Read more