The Pirates of Savannah: The Birth of Freedom in the Lowcountry by Tarrin P Lupo
Pirates of Savannah is a historical fiction novel. We first meet Patrick in a debtor's prison in England. The conditions are horrible, (trust me you will find out exactly how horrible in the first chapter). The first chapter is vivid so I do not recommend having a snack while you read it. I am mentioning this so you don't pick up the book to read, get your stomach turned and decide it's not for you. Go beyond the first chapter. It will never be so bad again. It's like a band aid - you know you need it so you put it on. When its usefulness is served you rip it off and don't need it again. So go ahead and rip through the first chapter. Patrick has been existing in this prison for years when the opportunity comes for him to go to America on a ship. He readily agrees. On board he is told he and his friends from the prison will have to work for passage. Then he finds out they are to be indentured slaves when they reaches shore. When the slave sale flyers are made he sees them. Being able to read he knows they were lied to about the number of years to be served. Left with no real choice Patrick goes along with it and is bought by a blacksmith. His other friends are all purchased save one who escaped. The men who became close while on board the ship, made an agreement to meet once again when they were freemen. The story follows Patrick's life with his owner who he soon learns treats him as a freeman. After gaining each other's trust Archibald, the man who bought Patrick, invites Patrick to a secret meeting for freedom for all men from the English. There the adventure begins. I do not want to give away too much of the story but I will say that Patrick does end up as a pirate.
This was an amazing read! Tarrin wrote with knowledge and entertainment in mind and achieved both in this book. I learned a bit about history and was highly entertained doing so. I loved his characters, April Sky being my favorite. The language was colorful and accurate. Shamus taught me quite a few new ways to speak to my brothers. haha. This book was very well researched and I appreciate the afterword where Tarrin lets us know fact from fiction. The book has intrigue, suspense, love, hate, oppression and freedom. It is a fast paced, swashbuckling, wenching, treasure-hunting good time. There is even a duel.
Despite there being a few errors in grammar, which I know bother some people greatly, ( they did not distract me from the story), I am giving this book 5 stars. I would make note that there is adult language and situations in the book so parents may want to read it to determine if it is a good match for their older child. I have noticed that it does say adult version so there may be a more kid friendly version out there.
"Ya have to earn yer freedom and passage." The five men looked at each other, wondering exactly what Mandrik meant. When he was sure he had their full attention again, the quartermaster continued, "When we port this ship, ya will be indentured to a local merchant. Five years of service. Ya will learn a trade and then ya be free.” The shoulders of the men stooped. Their hearts were crushed. Patrick gasped, "Five more years?!" Isaac starred stoically off past the rail of the ship and into the horizon.
Noticing their lowered morale, the quartermaster explained that being an indentured servant was not as bad as being a slave, unless of course you were a woman or worked indentured to a tyrant. They would be provided with food, a place to sleep and a job skill. After the contracted work was over the master was expected to send them off with some money and the tools of their new trade. Two thirds of the colonists bought their passage with this arrangement, so there was very little social stigma in being an indentured servant.
Feeling as if his words did not reassure the men, he released a great, big belly laugh. "If you don’t think dis arrangement is fair, feel free to swim home," he stated as he pointed to the open ocean. At that exact moment, Shamus started walking to the railing, took off his shirt and readied himself to jump overboard when Isaac grabbed the skinny Irishman by the scruff of his neck and pulled him down to the deck.
“Shamus!" Isaac yelled in his face. "You'll be dead in minutes, you stupid, lousy drunk. Do you even know how to swim?"
Lupo, Tarrin P. (2011-02-28). Pirates of Savannah (Pirates of Savannah (Adult Version)) (pp. 32-33). Porcupine Publications. Kindle Edition.
Marian whispered from the shadows, “They are waiting. Knock twice, then once, then thrice.”
The two men made their way into the tiny house, then up the ladder to the loft and rapped on the trap door. Two knocks.
Then one knock.
Then three knocks.
The trap door swung open and the two men ascended into the loft with only one candle to light the way. Four men and two boys sat in a tight circle. Archibald rose, inviting them to sit in the secret circle, but Isaac was so large, he seemed as if he would take up half the circle himself.
“Welcome to the Freeman Society," Archibald announced warmly. "We are a network of men who believe a man is only subject to himself. We believe a man to be sovereign to himself and not a king or ruler of any kind. We also believe the individual knows best how control his own life and make their own fortune, not anyone else. We can tell you more, much more, but first you have to enter this circle of trust on your own free will and accord. Do you two wish to continue?” Archibald questioned solemnly.
Lupo, Tarrin P. (2011-02-28). Pirates of Savannah (Pirates of Savannah (Adult Version)) (pp. 172-173). Porcupine Publications. Kindle Edition.
I hope you have enjoyed reading about this fantastic book and will check it out. Please leave me a comment with your thoughts.