Isle of Swords by Wayne Thomas Batson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Declan Ross captains the William Wallace as a pirate. He is not your usual bloodthirsty fellow, however. He has moral standards and pirates mainly for survival. If only he could find enough treasure so he could retire with his daughter Anne and convince her that the pirate’s life isn’t for either of them. Along the way they find a badly beaten young man with amnesia and must deal with the notorious pirate, Bartholomew Thorne.
The point of view changed a lot, because the author explored the thoughts of more than two characters. Though there were hourglasses to indicate the changes, it was sometimes a bit confusing.
It was interesting how he wove religion into a pirate tale with some old Catholicism, tradition and legend.
I think the first chapter should have been a prologue as it introduced us to the main villain but then involved such a minor character that I wondered by the end of the book why the Batson used that scene as the backstory when others would have been better.
The best part of the story was the suspense—built as the author dropped little clues along the way that drove me to turn the next page. While this book is cleaner than most pirate books, it is still a bloody tale. I would recommend it to an older middle grader to young adult. (If you are looking for a pirate tale for younger kids, check out James R. Hannibal’s Pirate: Midnight Passage.)
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