By: Dan E. Hendrickson
Publication Date: March 2021
Reviewed By: Amy Lignor
Review Date: July 14, 2021
Whether you were playing the role as a kid or grew up and absolutely loved watching Johnny Depp stagger about as Captain Jack Sparrow – you must’ve thought at one time that swashbuckling was the coolest thing on Earth. And when it came to books, all the way back to Robert Louis Stevenson introducing one and all to Long John Silver in Treasure Island, the classic pirate on an incredible journey had to draw you in...for life. But no matter what you chose to do—pick up the saber as the hero, or be the one having only one eye to see (because the patch covered the other one)—the pirate tales you read certainly had to get the creative juices flowing.
Which is exactly what Brandy: Ballad of a Pirate Princess does in ‘kegs.’ Not only is this tale captivating, it also offers gifts to those fans who are looking for everything from historical fiction to adventure to romance to the need to see a female take the lead. We are stationed in the Caribbean (Captain Sparrow, you out there?) during the early 1800’s, when we meet up with Miss Brandy Erasmus. Not exactly a debutante, her father is one of the deadliest pirates sailing the ocean blue, flying his skull-and-bones flag from the mast of his unconquerable ship, The Red Witch. Both of Brandy’s parents strike fear into others’ hearts. But while her parents have pilfered the Caribbean for over twenty-five years, Brandy and her Uncle Skinner soon find themselves barely breathing as they escape an attack on Brandy’s parents when first mate, Lomoche, picks up a sword, takes her parents out, and proceeds to steal away the ship and her crew.
Walled up inside a tavern that her uncle has opened in Jamaica, the orphan Brandy is now safe. But as she works there serving ale to the crowd, she still simmers with anger at the fact that her parents are gone, her friends are now ensconced on a ship with a murderer, and her rightful place at the helm has been taken away. Fortunately for Brandy, however, one day Captain John walks through the doors of the tavern with a group of his own friends. Soon, the dashing captain escorts Brandy aboard a ship once again and they head out on what could be a perilous journey to steal back what rightfully belongs to Brandy.
Not only does the author dive into the civil turmoil and disorder that was occurring in the world at the time, he also offers up a focus on the perspective of slavery, showing both sides of the debate with precision. Add on the fact that many cultures are also shown colorfully, elegantly, and respectfully, and you have a story that never stops grabbing you for a single second. Perhaps the most difficult part is watching Brandy make that ultimate decision to leave her gore-filled past behind and move on, or get back The Red Witch and her crew in order to go on a rescue mission that could cost Brandy her life.
The plot as well as the characters are equally fantastic. Readers are given the action, the adventure, characters that grow before your very eyes in complexity and, yes, a romance unfolds that is up there with the best of them when it comes to making your heart beat faster. Learning about the lives of these characters was as much fun as watching the swashbuckling parts take center stage, which is yet another thing this particular reader wants to thank the author for; by not allowing one ‘peg-leg’ step to lag or one second of text to be dull, the writer deserves a round of applause.
Quill says: Avast Ye Readers! Put down the swords and pick up this book; you will be thrilled that you did so! 5 out of 5 stars is an understatement.
For more information on Brandy: Ballad of a Pirate Princess, please visit the author's website at: www.danehendrickson.com