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Voyage of Plunder    by Michele Torrey order for
Voyage of Plunder
by Michele Torrey
Order:  USA  Can
Yearling, 2007 (2005)
Hardcover, Softcover

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* * *   Reviewed by J. A. Kaszuba Locke

Michele Torrey continues her Chronicles of Courage series, sea adventures set in the late 1600's. Voyage of Plunder is narrated by young Daniel Markham, son of successful merchant Robert Markham. Daniel is learning his father's trade. They sail out of Boston Harbor headed for Jamaica on the Gray Pearl. En route, a pirate ship attacks. Daniel arrives on deck to find a band of pirates surrounding his father. Falling into darkness, he awakens to a familiar voice - that of Captain Josiah Black, a man who often visited the Markham's Boston home.

Daniel swears to avenge his father's murder, as he faces the reality of betrayal and remembers his promise to care for his stepmother Faith, who is with child. There are a hundred pirates aboard the Tempest Galley, approximately thirty of whom had also been guests at Daniel's Massachusetts hearth. Now Daniel faces coming to terms with piracy in order to stay alive. As the Tempest crew speaks of his father Robert Markham as a traitor, a sliver of doubt forms in Daniel's mind. Daniel escapes, only to be recaptured. He is forced to sign the Articles, and become a pirate. He witnesses the digging of buried treasure, and another vessel's pirate captain killing his cohorts-in-crime in order to keep the treasure for himself. Secrets from Captain Josiah Black's past also lurk around the corner.

Michele Torrey's writing-style is tantalizing, while her action tales portray strong characters and hold the reader's attention from beginning to end. In her Author's Notes, Torrey writes: 'is all pirate life fiction? Not at all ... the violence of their occupation led to the loss of limbs and eyes ... With the 'Voyage of Plunder' I sought to help readers experience the real-life drama and terror that went hand in hand with piracy.' Torrey modeled some Tempest Galley characters on infamous pirates, such as Blackbeard, Thomas Tew and Henry Every. She notes that many who turned to piracy originally began as privateers hired in service to their country.

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