Book One of the Brethren of the Coast trilogy, featuring Thomas Marlowe With the bounty from his years as a pirate - a life he intends to renounce and keep forever secret - Thomas Marlowe purchases a fine Virginia plantation from a beautiful young widow, Elizabeth Tinling. Soon afterwards, while defending her honour, he kills the favourite son of one of the colony's most powerful families in a duel. But in a clever piece of manoeuvring he manages to win command of the Plymouth Prize, the colony's decrepit guardship, and is charged with leading the King's sailors in bloody pitched battle against the cutthroats who infest the waters off Virginia's shores. A threat from his illicit past appears, however, as an old pirate enemy plots to seize the colony's wealth, forcing Marlowe to choose between losing all - or facing the one man he fears.
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(178mm x 106mm x 28mm)
Publisher: Transworld Publishers Ltd
Country of Publication:
UK Kirkus Review »
Period novels, by definition, are epic masterpieces. Men wear hats, carry swords and bow in front of ladies. Ladies wear tight corsets, are inordinately beautiful and are possessed of great cunning. Naturally both sexes are haunted by a hidden past. The present is uncertain for all, tumultuous even, and, where ships are involved, rife with danger in the form of brigands and pirates. Given the formula a semi-competant novelist, with a little elbow grease could churn out a readable epic and then get it published. Nelson is more than competant and he clearly knows his period and his ships so it is inexcusable when on more than one occasion he allows laziness to overcome his literary skill and writes prose worthy of a second-rate novelist. Having created a Byronian hero, in every sense of the word, in Thomas Marlow, Nelson then spoils a tightly-written battle scene by having him forget his own plan for coming out of it alive! Guilty of more than one instance like this in the novel Nelson manages to save the pace of its storyline by creating a vividly-drawn relationship between Marlow and Elizabeth and then making this the catalyst for what happens next. The result is akin to a ride in the country in a horse-drawn cart: it's pleasant enough but a little bumpy. Still, this is the first of Nelson's projected novels featuring the same time and characters so there is hope that next time round the ride will be that much smoother. (Kirkus UK)
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Author Biography - James L. Nelson
James Nelson has served as a seaman, rigger, boatswain and officer on a number of sailing vessels. He is the author of the five books comprising his The Revolution at Sea saga and The Brethren of the Coast trilogy. He lives with his wife and children in Maine. His web site can be found at www.jameslnelson.com.