Review: Blackhearts

BlackheartsBlackhearts by Nicole Castroman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Blackbeard the pirate was known for striking fear in the hearts of the bravest of sailors. But once he was just a young man who dreamed of leaving his rigid life behind to chase adventure in faraway lands. Nothing could stop him—until he met the one girl who would change everything.

Edward “Teach” Drummond, son of one of Bristol’s richest merchants, has just returned from a year-long journey on the high seas to find his life in shambles. Betrothed to a girl he doesn’t love and sick of the high society he was born into, Teach dreams only of returning to the vast ocean he’d begun to call home. There’s just one problem: convincing his father to let him leave and never come back.

Following her parents’ deaths, Anne Barrett is left penniless and soon to be homeless. Though she’s barely worked a day in her life, Anne is forced to take a job as a maid in the home of Master Drummond. Lonely days stretch into weeks, and Anne longs for escape. How will she ever realize her dream of sailing to Curaçao—where her mother was born—when she’s stuck in England?

From the moment Teach and Anne meet, they set the world ablaze. Drawn to each other, they’re trapped by society and their own circumstances. Faced with an impossible choice, they must decide to chase their dreams and go, or follow their hearts and stay.

A historical fiction about a notorious pirate? Sign me up! Blackhearts builds a wonderful story about Edward Teach and what he was before he became Blackbeard. The son of a wealthy merchant, Teach had every luxury in life, except the freedom to do what he wanted. He lived for adventure, and the sea, and sees a kindred heart in Anne, a biracial girl who feels out of place in a time that is very racist. Anne is the hidden illegitimate daughter of his family friend, but comes to work as a maid in his household. Their initial interactions are charged more with frequent arguments, and it slowly develops into a tentative friendship and eventually into romance. Certainly helps that the both of them are beautiful.

A big part of the storyline is the divide between them: society won’t ever look at their relationship at properly, and his father would have him make an advantageous match. The pirate part is not really a part now, but there certainly is foreshadowing. Teach’s gentle character and the way the author spoke of how she came to write this story certainly add an extra dimension to this infamous historical figure. Anne’s role in the storyline and her voice, too, complement the plot so well, but I feel her story has much more to tell. This is definitely a series I am eager to be following.

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One thought on “Review: Blackhearts

  1. Pingback: July-August Wrap-Up | YA on my Mind

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