AOS Book Reviews

This section contains reviews of AOS books by David Hayes and members of the forum

Naval Fiction Reviews : Non-Fiction Reviews : Pirate Fiction Reviews : Nautical Fiction Reviews : Modern Era Reviews

Roland: Of Pirates and PatriotsRoland: Of Pirates and Patriots is a story about patriotism and the greed for gold. It follows the life of Roland who is a child when he witnesses the murder of his father and takes upon himself a plan to use stolen gold to purchase arms for the defence of America.

The narrative covers a number of years leading up to the war of 1812 as young Roland matures and seeks a method to convert the gold, hidden in England, into weapons that can be stored near Baltimore until they are needed for defence of the city. Sought by a former ships mate who wants the gold he enlists the help of both pirates and privateers to get the arms which are eventually needed during the War of 1812 after Washington has been burned and the British are advancing on Fort McHenry and Baltimore.

The various characters were well rounded and with the plot twists were woven into a well written narrative which I enjoyed reading.


The Pyrate: The Rise of Cooper CainThe Pyrate: The Rise of Cooper Cain is the first book in what appears to be a promising new series from Michael Aye. It follows the life of Cooper Cain as he becomes involved in piracy in the waters of the Caribbean and off the American Atlantic coast during the years preceding the War of 1812.

Aye has followed what appears to be a modern trend of moving pirate novels away from the Hollywood caricatures of pirates and introducing more believable characters. In reality there was little difference between a legal privateer and an illegal pirate and it is perhaps not surprising that the lure of easy money attracted men from all walks of life to cross this line. There were some who you would be best to steer clear of, such as Edward Teach (Blackbeard), but there were probably just as many ordinary men with family ties.

The author has a very believable cast of characters who, when not at sea, lead normal lives, albeit with a wary eye, where they have the same concerns as there law abiding fellow citizens but there is also plenty of at sea action as well as a tie in with his cast of characters from the Fighting Anthony's series. There is even some insight into how pirates recycled their plunder, particularly ships, into legal markets.

I found the book to be a very enjoyable read which was hard to put down and I look forward to seeing how the characters will be developed through the series. Highly recommended.

Nor GoldNor Gold: The Pirate Captain continues the stories of Nathan, Kate and their friend Thomas. There are so many twists in the plot it is impossible to summarise, however it's a story of romance, friendship and loyalty in a brutal world. Nathan is torn between his love of Kate, her desires and the need to protect her from evil enemies and at the same time his loyalty to his ship and crew and his need for revenge on a former nemesis.

There are plenty of characters who have a developed background and as with most pirates there is the subplot of who can be trusted and who is working for thier own profit.

Like the first book it is a very well written plot with twists that make it hard to put down as you always want to know what will happen next. Romance, suspense, action, scheming, Nor Gold has it all and you are left eagerly awaiting the sequel

This book and the series are highly recommended.

The Pirate CaptainIf you are looking for a pirate fiction 'fix' I do not think you will regret picking up The Pirate Captain by Kerry Lynne. The book follows the lives and interactions of a particular crew, their friends and their enemies in a well thought out plot. The characterisations are strong and the pirate characters are not the caricatures of the big and small screens. Yes they are pirates and yes they can be ruthless but at the same time they are a sort of family. The captain, Nathan, and the principal female character Cate both have good back stories that are slowly revealed.

As an AOS book it was good but it is also a good romance novel with a 'will they, won't they' suspense element.

I found it a well written narrative with a plot that made it hard to put down and which left me wanting more when it ended even though it was a lengthy 620 pages. With the Kindle version currently available for £5.79 this makes it excellent value for money. 

Highly recommended.

A Pirate's Tale: The Sea FoxAccused of a papist plot in Reastoration England Jon Nostrum, son of a knight, wakes to find himself as a seaman aboard a ship owned by Edmund Stanton a ruthless Jamaican businessman who has coerced Kath Ellis.

To escape Stanton the crew mutiny and Jon finds he now has a new career as a pirate captain with a powerful enemy bent on revenge. But how will the intervention of Sir Henry Morgan, former buccaneer and now Governor of Jamaia, affect things. 

At it's heart this is a fairly standard will the girl run off with the pirate plot but it is very well written with a storyline that is well paced with rounded characters that are far more believable than some of the Pirates of the Carribbean caricatures. I enjoyed reading it and would purchase a sequel if one were written.


The Wrath of BrotherhoodFor fans of pirate fiction there is a worthy new addition to the genre from Ozgur K. Sahin, The Wrath of Brotherhood. Set in the Caribbean at the time of the Restoration, the book, which is the first of a new series, introduces us to Captain Roy Toppings an English gentleman bent on revenge for the death of his sister for which he blames the Spanish.

Roy and his first mate, an ex-slave, recruit a crew of local men and a native South American, later enhanced by some dutchmen, and set out to plunder Spanish possessions and shipping, but as he uncovers their invasion plot he must unite with other English ships to counter the threat.

The book had a well written plot featuring both land and sea action and I particularly enjoyed the unusual mix of characters the author created. It held my attention well and I look forward to reading of their further adventures.


© 2008-2022 David Hayes (Astrodene)