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Reviewed by Grant Leishman for Readers' Favorite
Brandy, Ballad of a Pirate Princess is a true swashbuckling adventure on the high-seas of the Caribbean. Author Dan Hendrickson brings to life the world of the cutlass, flintlock pistols, and rifles of the Caribbean pirates and British naval officers. Centered principally around the British territories of Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago, we meet the intriguing Brandy, a beautiful, flame-haired young girl, who was born and raised on the pirate ship Red Witch. Her mother was none other than the Scarlet Mistress and her father, the legendary pirate Eric Erasmus, also known as “the plague”. When the British navy finally catches up with them and with her father murdered by one of his traitorous crew and her mother executed by the British, Brandy and her uncle convince their captors that they are just mere slaves destined for the markets of the US. Delivered to Jamaica and freedom, Brandy and her uncle set about establishing and running a successful tavern near the docks in Kingston, Jamaica. When First-Mate of the Morning Star, John Edwards arrives in Brandy’s tavern one evening, the electricity between John and Brandy is palpable. Captain Joshua has spent the last seven years searching for news of what had happened to his wife and daughter who had disappeared on their journey to meet him in Kingston. What soon becomes obvious to all of them is that not only are their destinies linked together, their pasts may also be.
I have followed author Dan Hendrickson’s writing from his very first novel and what has impressed me from the beginning is his growth and development as an author. Never afraid to accept constructive criticism, this author’s work has improved in leaps and bounds. Something of a genre departure for him, Brandy, Ballad of a Pirate Princess was an absolute joy to read. A conversational writing style and a real knack for character development make this author stand out from the others in this genre. For the action junkie, there is no shortage of fight scenes and the plot follows a clear and distinctive path that has been well thought out and meticulously written. Equally, the props to the story, the clothing, the weapons, the locations, the political climate of the time, all appear to be based on extensive knowledge and research. Hendrickson’s work invariably brings us a deeper message about ourselves that we should take on board and this story is no exception. What I enjoyed in this narrative was the idea that diversity should be celebrated, not demonized, that we are not responsible for the “sins of our fathers”, and that the power of love transcends all. I thoroughly enjoyed the author’s excursion into a different genre, which rewarded me with a truly swashbuckling, soulful, historical, romance. This is a superb book with a mesmerizing story and is a true winner for me.