Wednesday, March 14, 2007
CFBA: Review of The Reliance
Can I admit up front that I am not a pirate fan. I endured Pirates of the Caribbean. Not my cup of tea by a long shot. But I found myself with a copy, and MaryLu Tyndall has crafted a story that I could not put down. It didn't matter that pirates were the center of the story. In fact I think I liked it even more because of the unique setting and time period.
The Reliance is a swashbuckler of the first order. Open the book and you will step back in time to 1668 and the Caribbean. You can almost smell the mixed aroma of fresh sea air colliding with unwashed bodies and the stench of below-decks.
Charlisse and Captain Merrick have been married a few years when the book opens and are quickly thrust into the middle of a battle when pirates overwhelm the Port town they are staying in. Captain Merrick is a pirate turned privateer who has made it his life work to hunt down pirates and bring them to justice. Charlisse is expecting their first child and sees a vast world of new possibilities before them.
Then a nemesis from Captain Merrick's past rises up to destroy Merrick by making him believe Charlisse is dead. The rest of the book is spent with the twists and turns of the two dealing with the results of this trickery. Charlisse leans deeper into God, while voices whisper that He too has abandoned her. Merrick plunges back into his old ways as he battles with God about what has happened. I won't say more because the plot and writing will pull you through this book.
I could relate to Charlisse particularly because I have lived through one of her situations recently. The character development was believable, reactions were real, and I cared deeply about what happened to her. Merrick was a bit more of a ... pirate... but I still wanted to see him reach a place of growth and acceptance.
The setting was rich, the language piraty without being annoying, and it made this non-pirate really enjoy the book. It was the second book in the series -- I haven't read the first one, but didn't feel like I missed anything. In fact, I may go pick it up now!
If you're looking for something different, I think you'll enjoy this book.