Black's Gold

Fiction - Adventure
214 Pages
Reviewed on 04/13/2021
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Edith Wairimu for Readers' Favorite

A heartfelt novel with a riveting plot, Black's Gold by Lori Power follows the life of a destitute young woman after the cruel death of her mother. Following the violent events of the previous night that leaves Flora’s mother, Maggs, hanging on to her life, Flora wakes up to the reality of trying to survive on the streets by herself. The incidents of the night before have attracted the unwanted and alarming attention of powerful forces that seek revenge and others who want what Maggs managed to take from her assailant. Using the contents of the stolen purse, Flora courageously moves to strike a deal with privateer Mackenzie McGuire in the hope of fleeing 1767 Halifax to search for a better life and to escape her pursuers.

Flora’s difficult circumstances and her desperation as she tries to find her way out of the city are made apparent by the story’s background which captures the deprivation and crime that is evident on Halifax’s streets. Black’s Gold is also gripping from the beginning. The opening scene involves the dangerous incident that precedes Maggs’s death. The romance in the novel is skillfully developed. Both Flora and Mack are interesting main characters with varied motives. Mack is after hidden treasure while Flora wants to leave Halifax. Their romance blossoms beautifully throughout the plot. As the lead character, Flora is unique, intelligent, and brave. More captivating scenes follow after Mack accepts her onto his ship including scenes in which Flora has to pretend to be a lad. Black’s Gold by Lori Power is an exciting romance novel that will leave any reader wanting more of Power’s work.

Lit Amri

In Black's Gold (McGuire Series, Book 1) by Lori Power, Flora and her mother Maggs are a pickpocket duo surviving on the streets of Halifax. When one of the members of the notorious Tommy Two-Guns gang becomes their latest victim, trouble soon follows as they gain not coins but something more desirable. When illness finally claims her mother, the devastated Flora has no choice but to survive alone, especially when the gang is looking for her. Meanwhile, privateer Mackenzie McGuire acquired half of a treasure map for a tiny island off Nova Scotia. He sneaks into Halifax to obtain the keys to the deadly booby traps set for unsuspected treasure hunters, written on the map's other half. What the ambitious privateer doesn't expect is that a thief will bring a boon and trouble to his plan.

Set in the 18th century with the English pirate Blackbeard as part of the story premise, the heart of Black's Gold is definitely the adventure that Mack McGuire, his crew, and the tenacious Flora embark on to find treasures that will set them up for life. The characterization is solid. Despite her demise, Flora's mother, Maggs, has an admirable resilience that her daughter inherited, and I gravitated toward Flora instantaneously. Although there's a slight distrust in the beginning and a tantalizing potential for conflict, Flora and Mack gradually create a solid foundation for their relationship with determination, patience, and kindness. With a well-paced plot and plenty of suspenseful moments, their dynamic complements the hardships of being at sea and fending off enemies. Overall, Lori Power's debut for the McGuire Series is an ambitious and adventurous seafaring tale infused with romance.

Grant Leishman

Black’s Gold by Lori Power is a swashbuckling adventure set off the coast of Nova Scotia in the 1760s. Mackenzie Maguire is a privateer (read pirate) who forcibly took possession of a Spanish galleon in 1767, renamed her the Navigator, and prowled the seas looking for suitable bounties to capture. Along with the ship, Mackenzie also discovered a small leather engraving that contained half of a treasure map, pinpointing the burial place of the infamous pirate Blackbeard’s reputed hoard. In Halifax, Nova Scotia, a cunning thief called Maggs and her eighteen-year-old daughter Flora, who dresses as a boy to confuse victims, scour the waterfront looking for suitable marks. When they rob a compatriot of the vicious and violent crime boss of Halifax, Tommy-Two-Guns, they get a little more than the coins they expected, finding the other half of the missing Blackbeard map. When Maggs unexpectedly dies and Flora realizes she is being hunted by Tommy-Two-Guns, she realizes she needs to get out of Halifax immediately. A chance encounter between Mackenzie and Flora will lead the pair on a race to discover the hidden treasure, as well as a tumultuous and passionate romance on the high seas.

Black’s Gold is pure emotional escapism; a romance neatly wrapped up in a historical, swashbuckling piratical drama. It has no pretense beyond that but it fulfills that purpose superbly. Author Lori Power has created two engaging and exciting characters for the reader to get behind and root for. Clearly, Flora has greater abilities, intellect, and other attractions than to be a thief her entire life, and Mackenzie is instantly drawn to her and cannot stop thinking about her. The electricity and sensuality between the pair jump off the page and this is an enormous credit to the author. Her descriptions of life at sea in the eighteenth century ring true and her descriptive prose of the perils of a storm-tossed sea was compelling, to say the least. Although somewhat predictable, the plotting, especially around the puzzle of Blackbeard’s hiding place, was clever and intricate enough to keep any reader enthralled. The relationship between Flora and Mackenzie was the center point of the narrative and the sweetness and sassiness of the characters were beautifully captured. I am compelled to check out more work from this author and what greater compliment can a reader pay. A quick and easy read, I thoroughly enjoyed this nautical romance and can highly recommend it.

Pikasho Deka

If you're enamored by seafaring adventure stories and movies like The Pirates of the Caribbean, then get your hands on a copy of Lori Power's Black's Gold. Flora is an eighteen-year-old girl, who alongside her mother, Maggs, survives abject poverty by swindling men out of their wallets by the Halifax Harbour in 1767. After a disastrous scuffle leaves her mother dead, Flora is left with a few pennies and one half of a mysterious map. Meanwhile, Captain Mackenzie McGuire arrives at Halifax Harbour, searching for the map that leads to the notorious pirate Edward Teach's treasure. Circumstances put Flora aboard Captain Mack's Navigator, and they undertake a hazardous journey to Blackbeard's island to retrieve the treasure. But they are not the only ones after the loot as Tommy Two Guns' men give chase.

Fast-paced and action-packed, Black's Gold is a wild rollercoaster from start to finish. Filled with humor, romance, and swashbuckling action, Lori Power's novel provides ample entertainment as the treasure hunt adventure breezes along with the gust of strong winds. The characters are colorful with distinct quirks that make them quickly endearing to the reader. The relationship between Flora and Mack drives the narrative and seems to be the backbone of the story. I was highly impressed by the dialogue, and in my opinion, Lori Power captures the nautical language of the 18th century to perfection. There's nothing that I didn't like about Black's Gold, and I gulped it down in one sitting. Anyone itching for a well-written seafaring adventure should check it out.

Risah Salazar

A captain of a ship is willing to cross even the most treacherous waters and make business deals with dangerous people just to find the missing piece of a treasure map. A young lass who literally has nothing and wants to start anew in a place far away from where she currently is and leave her pickpocketing ways. Mackenzie McGuire and Florence Rivers -- an unlikely pair brought together by destiny to discover riches far beyond their imaginations: Black's Gold. They both have something that the other needs, but suspicions threaten their relationship right from the start. Will they learn how to work together for the sake of unearthing the treasure?

Lori Power's Black's Gold is an adventurous and romantic historical fiction novel. Power's compelling writing is further emphasized by a good choice of words. The major bulk of the narrative focuses on the ship's routine and therefore naval terminologies. Even so, it does not feel alienating because Power does not make it too technical for the reading palate. The imagery is undeniably vivid, especially in the scenes where the ship is being wildly tossed during a violent storm. Black's Gold consistently engages all five senses and tugs on heartstrings. It is fast-paced and gripping, making the audience feel the thrill on every page. The story's foundation, as well as the characters' motivations, are also clear and established right away. The highs and lows of the book are carefully delivered by its smooth transition. Although the attraction between Mack and Flora happens so fast, it does not feel forced. The tension in their growing relationship is strong and it adds a sultry flavor to the already exciting journey.