- File Size: 5055 KB
- Print Length: 270 pages
- Publisher: Leighlin House Publishing; 2 edition (May 23, 2017)
- Publication Date: May 23, 2017
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B0711YWTNK
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #142,939 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
The Prodigal (The Jack Mallory Chronicles Book 1) Kindle Edition
|Length: 270 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
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"Nor do I want to"
Smith eyed her. "Yer not too far different, the two of you, I'm of a mind. You both want revenge for yer fathers, and rightly so. In fact, Miss Cordero, you and Jack best start leanin' towards yer similarities instead o' yer differences. If you don't, neither one o' you might find Logan and the grave you want to send him to." -- from The Prodigal, by S.K. Keough.
This first novel is a well-crafted, action-filled nautical tale. Set in the West Indies and South Carolina during the brutal age of Piracy, it is the story of a quest for rescue and revenge.
Jack begins the story as the boy "John" but emerges from Newgate Prison years later as "Jack", an angry young man bent on finding the pirate who shattered his life by murdering his father and taking his mother captive. In this story pirates are not glamorized, nor is the protagonist, yet it still has the feel of Pirates of the Caribbean, with a sincere but bitter Orlando Bloom and a spunky Keira Knightly in the starring roles. There is tension between the protagonist Jack and Miss Cordero, who are at odds with one another although they are both after the same pirate, Logan, who also murdered Maria Cordero's father. Both Jack and Maria have their side-kicks, which adds interest to the tale. But for me, the gutsy Maria Cordero steals the show.
The story opens with two ships, a merchant ship and a pirate brigantine of Captain James Logan and his gang. It begins with the pirate's attack, the battle and seizure of the merchant ship which leads to the killing of the father of Maria (a bar owner in the port) and the sailing father of young John Mallory plus the kidnapping of John's mother. The beginning is a "bucket of blood" and we see up close the heartless work of the pirates, master and crew and their viciousness with the captives. Here the author treats us to the ruthless slaughter of the pirates' victims and the personalities of both the assailants and the innocents.
From that point on, author Keogh spells out the life stories of the tavern keeper, Maria, and her murdered father as well as John and his kidnapped mother. That cast occupies the book with their obsession with pirate Logan. The search and chase occupies the majority of the plot with back stories of the young couple over the years before the hunt can actually begin. The plot is tight, credibly woven and draws the reader into the heart of the action as the protagonists grow and move toward the clashes that must surely kill most of them in the blind rush for justice.
In addition to plot -- "The Prodigal" is indubitably character driven as the protagonists attempt to unwind their effort to correct injustice -- it is the clear depiction of characters that leads the book. Each of the half dozen primary protagonists are fully-developed, real, and appealing.
Author Keogh is also a brilliant story teller and wordsmith. I've chosen an example of author Keogh's skillful use of language as but one example of dozens throughout this book.
"Maria peered out across the gentle black swells from her lookout point on the forecastle, straining to search the night's curtain that blurred sky and water into one ebony entity. She could barely stay awake in the encompassing darkness. She frowned and rubbed her eyes. What time was it? Seven bells in the middle watch seemed ages ago. Cumulous clouds smothered the light of stars and moon. If a sail appeared, she would be hard-pressed to see it unless it was almost upon them. She did not want to make a mistake in her duties. After all, Jack had finally agreed to let her rejoin her watch now that she was stronger, but he forbade her from climbing the rigging yet, and she wondered if he would ever allow it again."
In addition one must comment on author Keogh's incredible knowledge of the construction and workings of early American sailing ships, their crews and details of their duties in daily calendars. It is furthermore a credit to author Keogh's ability that in the dozens of beautifully done passages such as this one quoted here, this author shows restraint when it might have been tempting to slip into overdone purple prose - which did not happen.
In addition to your own certain pleasure in this page turner, it's a book you'll tell all your friends about. Get it now.