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The Buccaneers by Iain Lawrence
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The Buccaneers (2001)

by Iain Lawrence

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1111108,775 (3.79)1
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  1. 10
    Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson (Caramellunacy)
    Caramellunacy: Pirates and hijinks on the high seas abound in both - in Treasure Island, Jim Hawkins is brought along on an expedition to find a pirate's buried treasure and faces betrayal and danger from pirates & the crew. In Buccaneers, the crew fears that a castaway they pick up in the middle of the ocean is a Jonah who will betray them to the most vicious pirate on the seas.… (more)
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17-year-old John Spencer is finishing up his apprenticeship on his father's merchantman, the Dragon on its way to the West Indies. John laughs at his father's fears of cannibals and pirates, but things begin to go awry when the Dragon picks up a castaway in the middle of the ocean - a man feared as a Jonah. The truth, however, may be far more sinister as the Dragon is swept into the path of the fearsome buccaneer Bartholomew Grace and his lust for treasure.

The historical flavor is well done, and the details are nicely explained in an author's note at the end. John Spencer remains honorable and steadfast, but he's no paragon of virtue either. His lack of attention to his studies lands the crew in significant trouble. But he shows great courage and good sense as well.

The only thing that bothered me really was the climactic scene. Bartholomew Grace was built up as this hugely fearsome pirate - so brutal and horrid that it is barely imaginable, yet his fate seems over much too quickly and without adequate payoff. I kept expecting him to re-emerge as a character. Aside from that minor quibble, I thoroughly enjoyed the story, and I would highly recommend it to those seeking an adventurous (or nautical) read.

More at my blog ( )
  Caramellunacy | Apr 8, 2009 |
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I was steering the Dragon when the lifeboat came into view.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 044041671X, Paperback)

"There’s pirates in the West Indies. Cannibals. They cook you alive," says Mr. Spencer to his son. These words will come to haunt 17-year-old John as he embarks on his first voyage to foreign lands. Carrying cargo destined for Jamaica, John and his crew of the Dragon set off for waters few of them have sailed before. So when they come upon a lifeboat adrift at sea, some are wary of the sailor aboard. Something about his story doesn’t quite make sense. Still, John respects the stranger’s awe-inspiring seamanship. With Horn on deck, he feels the Dragon is in the best of hands.
But is Horn to be trusted? The answer becomes muddled as the Dragon encounters a very real — and very dangerous — pirate ship. Now John starts to believe his father’s warnings, especially after he becomes stranded on an island reputed to have buried treasure. A place teeming with buccaneers!


From the Hardcover edition.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:31:56 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

In the eighteenth century sixteen-year-old John Spencer sails from England in his schooner, the Dragon, to the Caribbean, where he and the crew encounter pirates, fierce storms, fever, and a strange man who some fear may be cursed. There's pirates in the West Indies. Cannibals. They cook you alive, says Mr. Spencer to his son. These words will haunt 17-year-old John Spencer as he embarks on his first voyage to foreign lands. Carrying cargo destined for Jamaica, John and his Dragon crew set off from London for waters few of them have sailed. So when they come upon a lifeboat adrift at sea, some are wary of the sailor aboard. His name is Horn, and something about his story doesn't quite make sense. Still, John respects the stranger's awe-inspiring seamanship. With Horn on deck, both John and the ship's captain believe the Dragon is in the best of hands. But is Horn to be trusted? Is he a good-luck charm as he claims to be? The answers become muddled as the Dragon encounters a very real -- and dangerous -- pirate ship. And soon after, John is stranded on an island reputed to conceal buried treasure. An island teeming with buccaneers!… (more)

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