This is the second part in the trilogy of the life of Hector Lynch. In the first book Hector was captured by some pirates whilst visiting a coastal village in Ireland. He is half Irish and half Spanish on his mothers side. He ended up in the first book escaping from the slave camps on Western Africa and setting out on a voyage across the Atlantic and this the second instalment starts with Hector and his friends approaching the West Indies at the end of that voyage. Sadly pirates intervene again and Hector finds himself using his wits to try to keep one step ahead of his enemies and keep his friends safe.
In the end the friends all end up joining an infamous pirate army that land in Panama and attack the Spanish strongholds their on foot, before ending up taking over a Spanish ship and sailing the Southern Sea (the Pacific) and being the scourge of that part of the world for a brief time. The attacks aren’t as successful as they’d all hoped and the band end up bartering safe passage around the cape and back to the Caribbean as part of a truce with the locals. However on returning to the expected safety of the West Indies they find themselves in more trouble with the British authorities.
Tim Severin’s books are gently paced with great detail in the descriptions of the time, the location and the events. I’m sure his historical facts are well researched and then the fictional story of Hector and his band of mates weaved into that seamlessly.
If you enjoy historical fiction and want a glimpse of the buccaneers life this is a recommended read. The last part in the series – Sea Robber – has just been released in hardback.