An excellent review of The Pirate of Panther Bay by award-winning young adult author M.R. Street appeared recently on one of the Tallahassee Democrat’s community blogs. M.R. Street, author of The Werewolf’s Daughter and Hunter’s Moon, recommended readers find “a hammock swaying in a balmy breeze and hold on for this thrilling Caribbean ride.”
“Staley’s swashbuckling adventure takes place in historically accurate settings. His research into the Caribbean region and time period (1780) encompasses the political dynamics, attention to detail of ships of war, and sailors’ superstitions. The battles at sea are breathtakingly realistic, with cannon balls whistling by and swordfights that require both skill and psychology. Staley deftly creates a lead character with multi-layered texture: a scared former slave girl who at a young age has lost her first love; but who is, at the same time, a self-assured young woman with military cunning and skill. As I read The Pirate of Panther Bay, I flinched each time Isabella was whipped in her cell in El Morro. Why doesn’t she just give up? She is beaten mercilessly, emotionally and physically. But her will to survive is fueled by her mother’s prophecy. Before Isabella was even born, the spirits told her mother what Isabella’s future would hold. To Isabella, the prophecy is a promise that this is not how she is meant to die.”
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