My Lady Pirate
For a short time I thought My Lady Pirate was going to be an out of the ordinary pirate book. It opens with a scene where pirate captain Marques is complaining about newspaper articles that portray him and his men as nasty, dirty and stinking. After all, he does bathe. But when Marques boards the ship carrying the fair Isabella, things went downhill fast.
I asked for this book since I had not read a pirate story in a long time and because Isabella had been raised by nuns. My grandmother was raised by nuns and I wanted to see how this aspect of Isabella’s life played a part in the story. Alas, it was hardly ever touched on except to repeat over and over how the bad old nuns were mean to sweet little Isabella. As for the lady in question, she was a fey little sprite who talked to dogs and built imaginary castles in the air full of gallant knights. I found myself humming “Some Day My Prince Will Come” everytime she appeared on the scene.
When Isabella became old enough to leave the mean old nuns she decided to sail for Madeira. Along the way her ship is boarded by pirates and she is taken by Marques, the handsome captain. He does not know quite what to make of this otherworldy creature, and although he keeps Isabella in his cabin, he does not touch her until they are boarded by Barbary Pirates who try to rape her. Marques rescues Isabella and she makes love to him, then asks when the wedding is. Never! Marques is a pirate and they gotta be free to roam the seas. Isabella retreats coldly and Marques is puzzled.
Isabella and some of the pirate ladies head for the tavern where the pirate women flirt with a handsome Englishman, while Isabella looks demure. But behold! Who should be in town but The Barbary Pirates! And who do they want? Isabella of course. And before you can sing yo ho ho, Isabella has been captured and is off to the slave markets accompanied by a chatty Barbary pirate who says he is a Muslim even though it seems obvious that the author knows next to nothing about Islam.
Marques finds out and is filled with guilt – he drove Isabella off by fondling a tavern wench in front of her. Oh what to do, what to do! He wants her. Why? “I just want her. I just miss her and I want her back.” “I haven’t thought it all through. I just….I just know that I’m never going to find anyone like her and it hurts.”
So Marques sets off after the fair Isabella who is in danger of rape from the sadistic captain of the Barbary pirates. Lots of adventures ensue but by this time I was praying for it to end quickly.
There is no way I can convey the stylistic mish-mash that this book is written in. The best way I can describe it is that it’s a mixture of archaic high-falutin language and colloquial slang that does not jell at all. Typos abound. A woman has “course” hair. It doesn’t phase her. Odd turns of phrase popped up and stopped me in my tracks at every turn. “He loosened his collar and sat mysteriously on the cot” – Huh? How does one sit in a mysterious fashion?
It was a chore for me to finish this book since the combination of odd characters, strange style and off the wall phrasing made it hard for me to sustain any interest. If only it had kept the off-kilter charm of the introduction. That’s the only plus it had going for it.