Release Date: February 9th 2016
This is the story of Blackbeard the pirate before he became Blackbeard, when Edward ‘Teach’ Drummond was just the son of a merchant returning home after a year at sea. His father has great plans for him, including marriage to a girl he doesn’t love, but all Edward wants is to hit the open seas again. Anne Barrett works as a maid in the Drummond household but longs for the day she will escape and sail away to the place her mother was from. When these two meet, they’re drawn to the way neither acts as expected of them but being together is near impossible.
This was a book I was looking forward to for some time. A Blackbeard origin story sounded like something I would definitely be interested in reading. I’m glad that it turned out to be not only interesting but also entertaining and a book I didn’t want to stop reading.
The book was told in the dual POVs of Edward and Anne. Both characters were caught in the situation where their heart wanted one thing but everyone was telling them they had to do the opposite. I found myself enjoying both characters, though maybe Anne a little more because I really loved her spirit and how she would stand up for herself when others looked down on her due to her skin color, gender, or position in society. They both had similar personalities but were still different enough to know whose POV it was at all times. Their personalities also led them to clash a lot and their fights were tense but also fun to read. I was glad Anne could give just as good as she got in their fights so it didn’t feel like Edward was using his position over her.
The plot was one that was a slow burn. There was a lot of focus on Edward and Anne’s journeys, separately and together, so it didn’t leave much time for development of other characters, which was a bit disappointing. We did get a couple of characters that were more fleshed out and some relationships defined and strengthened but the main focus was always on Edward and Anne.
Since this was an origin story, there wasn’t much of the book that took place on a ship and there was only talk of pirates. There were hints of how scary Edward could be and if there’s more books to come, I’m excited to go on that journey with him. There was a lot of slow burn romance between Edward and Anne and a lot of them fighting against society’s constraints, both together and separately. The pull toward freedom was always strong for both of them. I find myself torn between liking the book as is with this ending or hoping for more.
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.