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Sunday, October 14, 2012

The Devil's Fire by Matt Tomerline

Genre: Historical Fiction

Setting: 1717, at sea aboard a pirate ship.

First Sentence: Katherine Lindsey pressed her legs against the bulwark and peered into the cold blue waters of the North Atlantic hoping to locate her often heralded beauty within the rippling reflection that gazed back.

This novel is the first of Tomerlin's Devil's Fire series.

Katherine Lindsey is the wife of a wealthy English merchant.  When he decides to take his cargo to America, Katherine begs to go.  She sees the voyage as a grand adventure.  To be sure, it was an adventure, but not what she was expecting.

Their ship is attacked by pirates.  They steal the cargo, murder her husband and take Katherine hostage.  The plot of the novel tells the story of Katherine's time aboard the pirate ship.  The author tells the story through the eyes of several different characters:

Katherine - the hostage
Jonathan Griffith - the dashing pirate captain, brave and mysterious,
Edward Livingstone - the quartermaster of the pirate ship and a violent bully,
Nathan Adams - a young American member of the pirate crew,
Douglas Thatcher - the ship's surgeon, and a hostage of a different sort.

The plot of the story has many of the expected elements of a pirate story: attacks on cargo ships, sword fighting duels, double-dealing pirates, debauchery in port, and of course a buried treasure.  The tale is told well and there are many unexpected plot twists.

Over all, a well crafted story that I enjoyed reading.  Arr!

The Devil's Fire

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