William Westbrook launches (!) a new series featuring Captain Nicholas Fallon in his novel The Bermuda Privateer. Since I don’t get to use the word “swashbuckling” in a book review nearly as often as I would like, I’ll go ahead and say without hesitation that this is one swashbuckling read! It’s got sailing ships and pirates and battles and trickery; in short, everything you would want in a sailors’ adventure story.
It also has wonderful characters. Nicholas Fallon captains the Sea Dog, a privateer from Bermuda (!) and works for the Somers Salt Company guarding their cargo ships from French pirates and privateers as they carry loads of salt around the Caribbean islands. We are privy to his thoughts and wry sense of humor as he voyages and fights his way through the seas. Nicholas is a trickster who is determined to forge through whatever obstacles come his way. I also enjoyed the tough, foul-mouthed Beauty MacFarland, the woman first mate of the Sea Dog, and the wily Ezra Somers, owner of the salt enterprise.
The adventure is fresh, the storytelling is terrific, and the sense of place was so well done that I actually wanted more maps in the front so I could have traced the Sea Dog’s adventures.
More thrilling installments of Nicholas Fallon, please!
If this whets your appetite for more seafaring adventures, try:
King, Ship, and Sword: an Alan Lewrie Naval Adventure by Dewey Lambdin
Ramage by Dudley Pope
Lieutenant Hornblower by C.S. Forester