Find the Author: Website, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Amazon, Pinterest
Published by Simon Pulse on February 9th 2016
Genres: Historical Fiction, Retelling, Romance, Young Adult
Format: Hard Cover
Purchase A Copy: Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Nook | Kindle
Add to Goodreads
Blackbeard the pirate was known for striking fear in the hearts of the bravest of sailors. But once he was just a young man who dreamed of leaving his rigid life behind to chase adventure in faraway lands. Nothing could stop him—until he met the one girl who would change everything.
Edward "Teach" Drummond, son of one of Bristol's richest merchants, has just returned from a year-long journey on the high seas to find his life in shambles. Betrothed to a girl he doesn’t love and sick of the high society he was born into, Teach dreams only of returning to the vast ocean he’d begun to call home. There's just one problem: convincing his father to let him leave and never come back.
Following her parents' deaths, Anne Barrett is left penniless and soon to be homeless. Though she’s barely worked a day in her life, Anne is forced to take a job as a maid in the home of Master Drummond. Lonely days stretch into weeks, and Anne longs for escape. How will she ever realize her dream of sailing to Curaçao—where her mother was born—when she's stuck in England?
From the moment Teach and Anne meet, they set the world ablaze. Drawn to each other, they’re trapped by society and their own circumstances. Faced with an impossible choice, they must decide to chase their dreams and go, or follow their hearts and stay.
“He had an uncanny way of seeing through her, discerning her thoughts when she least expected or wanted him too.”
– Nicole Castroman
As with my A Court of Thorns and Roses review, this review was also written a few months after reading the novel. My second to last college semester was incredibly busy and I had no time to sit down and enjoy my books and write reviews for them. Anyone who knows me well knows how obsessed I am with pirates and Blackbeard himself. I loved getting to read a novel written about his origins story.
This novel takes place in Bristol, England in 1697. Our main character, Anne, works as a maid in the Drummond household. Nicole Castroman has created a setting that feels very real. We are able to see the docks where Anne is attempting to buy fish for a feast, we are able to see the house where Anne works and later lives as a ward. I love that Castroman is able to transport us back in time and make it feel so real through her details and writing even though readers have never been to England in 1967.
I had high hopes for this plot and I am happy to say that they were fulfilled. This Blackbeard origins story starts way before he ever has the thought of being a pirate. Readers come into the story as Edward is returning home after a year at sea. His father wants him to pursue a life in high society and has arranged a marriage to girl from a wealthy family, but Edward has other plans.
Anne works her days as a maid in the Drummond household, quietly stealing things in hopes of having enough money to escape and find her mother’s family. But when Edward returns her plans are thrown out the window. This novel is a whirlwind of events that lead to one man doing something he never thought he would be part of: piracy.
Castroman’s writing was excellent. Her characters where believable and I found myself very quickly caring about what happened to them. I loved watching her world building and plot unfold in my head because of her writing and vivid details.
Castroman definitely did justice to the Blackbeard lore with this origins story. I thought the way the novel progressed and unfolded was perfect. I felt like I was part of Edward and Anne’s world as I read. I could see their thought processes and what drove them to the story’s ending. Seeing what drove Edward to piracy was so exciting and nerve wracking.
Edward and Anne had my heart from the very beginning. I felt for them and found myself caring about what happened to both of them. The events that transpired throughout the novel had me on the edge of my seat at times.
I need the next book now! Ending on a cliffhanger like that is just not fair. The very last line of the novel is the beginning of Blackbeard the Pirate and then readers are left alone with their thoughts. I absolutely cannot wait to see what happens next.