Captain Mary, Buccaneer is an historical novel based loosely on the lives of two notorious women pirates of the 1700ís, Mary Read and Ann Bonny. While the fictitious Captain Mary may not have existed, the lives and dangers experienced by historical pirates were very real, and this book is rich in detail, pirate lore and history.
Captain Mary opens as she and her crew aboard the vessel Fury attack a French ship. Though she sacks the enemy ship and then releases most of its crew, Mary keeps with her a man who had been imprisoned on that ship, a physician by the name of Alphonse Coulances. Coulances, considered a traitor by France, was being taken back there to hang for his crimes. Though Coulances is free to disembark at any point in time as the Fury continues her journey, he remains to become one of Captain Maryís lovers. Mary also has an ongoing relationship with her master pilot, Petronius, a former slave, and another woman, whom she entrusts with a most precious part of her past.
But Mary has other secrets, secrets that could be used against her if anyone were to find out the truth about her past, and her life hangs in the balance as she fights for her lovers, her way of life and her freedom, but not without cost.
Captain Mary, Buccaneer is a well-written tale of seafaring adventure and daring. Itís also a tale of romance and betrayal. While some readers may be put off by Maryís apparent lack of morals, she is, after all, a pirate, so her eccentricities may be forgiven. While this reader is familiar with the tale of Read and Bonny in an historical sense, author Simonas has attempted to flesh out their lives, a little flamboyantly, but certainly possible.
The action scenes contained within the pages of this tale are riveting and realistic, and Simonasí ability to create compelling characters shines through as Mary leads her motley crew to face death and danger every time she turns around. Equally compelling is Simonasí attempt to create within Mary a softer side, and for that she is to be congratulated. Mary is definitely a woman; confused, afraid, and yet daring and adventurous. Her lovers are equally well wrought, each finding and admiring a different aspect of Maryís character that brings each to vibrant life. If you donít mind a bit of literary license with your history and are in the mood for an adventure, this pirate tale is a delightful way to spend an afternoon reading.