Book Review: Pirate Queens

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This feature is in association with NetGalley.

Pirate Queens by Rebecca Alexandra Simon

Many thanks to both NetGalley and to Pen & Sword for letting me see an advance reader’s copy of Pirate Queens: the lives of Anne Bonny and Mary Read.

Pirates have always been close to my heart, and I do love to read books about them – fiction and non-fiction. Therefore, I was delighted to see this book coming out from Pen & Sword.

Pirate Queens is a hypothetical biography of two infamous pirates, who were more likely famous due to the fact that they were women. The story is hypothetical because there is not a lot actually known about them. What the author has done here is collect together what is known, added to it some likely scenarios using real lives at the time as a basis, and hypothesised the missing bits in between.

The best bits for me were all things pirate. I didn’t care that they were women, I was simply interested in their likely stories because they were pirates. I liked the mix of fact and fiction, and I liked the pictures. I was surprised that these two women were only pirates for two months. But then, pirates did have a very short life expectancy.

As far as I was concerned, there was a bit too much repetition in this book, such as the fact that Bonny and Read were women and especially the continued reference to them baring their breasts. I also wasn’t keen on the American English from a British publisher. But if this book’s main target audience is American, then that would probably explain the grammar and spellings used.

There were several typographical errors that should have been cleaned up in a good proofread. However, I did enjoy reading it.

Four stars.