My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This book took considerably longer than I expected to finish. Not because it wasn’t good (it most definitely is a good book), but because of the complexity in it. In brief, this a traditional pirate story told from a non-traditional perspective. We follow the experiences of one Owen Wedgwood, chef, from the point of his capture by the Mad Hannah Mabbott, a red-headed sea wench of a pirate who has only two goals: vengeance and to capture the Brass Fox, an equally as notorious pirate.
Through Wedgwood’s eyes, we learn about the duplicitous nature of not the pirate world, but the world of the Pendleton Trading Company, run by one Lord Ramsey, the late former employer of the protagonist. Wedgwood must cook for the pirate queen Mabbott once a week or else die in whatever horrible way only pirate minds can think up.
As the story progresses, Owen’s views on what is right and what is righteous began to shift to match his shifting loyalties as his relationship with Mad Mabbott and the rest of the crew change from captor and captive to companions and more.
It is an excellent read and has a great lesson about not judging simply based on the reputations heard from others, but it was more difficult than I had anticipated.