“I counted fifteen dead men working the deck of the Kingston well, they weren’t dead yet, but the day was young and I had a full belt of shot.”
And so starts Meg Caddy’s second book, ‘Devil’s Ballast’ released by Text Publishing last month.
‘Devil’s Ballast’ is Caddy’s take on the real life pirate, Anne Bonny. Bonny, an Irish pirate who wreaked havoc in the Caribbean in the 18th Century, has become something of a legend.
Caddy has woven her magic with what is known of Bonny’s life to provide readers with a compelling and entertaining tale.
The story opens with a fierce battle at sea and the stage is set. Caddy has gone to considerable effort to research weaponry of the time. And throughout the adventures and battles, Bonny’s relationship with pirate captain, Calico Jack winds a turbulent and passionate thread balancing the storyline.
Caddy has given readers a rip-roaring pirate tale of murder, mayhem and questionable morals with both style and sophistication. Her careful handling of historical detail is appreciated and it soon becomes apparent that she has undertaken an extraordinary amount of research.
‘Devil’s Ballast’ is highly recommended for readers of high-school age and older, and all those who enjoy reading about a thrill-seeking, strong female protagonist. Caddy’s Anne Bonny is the perfect anti-heroine for our age.
My thanks to Text Publishing for an advance review copy.
Anne Bonny was eighteen when she ran away from her violent husband, James, into the arms of pirate captain Calico Jack Rackham. Now she’s ensconced aboard Jack’s ship Ranger, passing as a cabin boy and playing her ruthless part in a crew that is raining down mayhem and murder on the ships of the Caribbean. But James Bonny is willing to pay to get his ‘property’ back. And pirate-hunter Captain Barnet is happy to take his money. The Ranger’s a fast ship: Anne might just be able to outrun Barnet. But can she outrun the consequences of her relationship with Calico Jack?
Devil’s Ballast is action-packed yet nuanced, culturally relevant and sharp as a cutlass. Based on the true story of Anne Bonny, this new novel by the remarkable Meg Caddy brings to life one of history’s most fascinating anti-heroines.