Gather the ShadowmenWhen someone mentions attacks on British shipping in home waters during the American Revolution usually one name springs to mind, John Paul Jones. I was surprised to learn therefore that there was someone possibly even more successful who I had never heard of, Luke Ryan.

Ryan was an Irish smuggler operating out of Dunkirk who became a privateer sailing with an American Letter of Marque from Benjamin Franklin and went on to command the Calonne, a 400 ton ex-French naval frigate of two decks and 36 guns with a crew of nearly 250 men of Irish, French, American and Dutch nationalities. A small band of ships sailed under his overall command.

In a new three book series Mark M. McMillin is relating a fictional story based on the exploits of this remarkable man and I have just finished the first of these Gather the Shadowmen: The Lords of the Ocean which covers the period he was smuggling through to the decision to become a privateer.

As the author explains in his historical notes at the end, Ryan's story is not well documented, so the story is mainly told through a fictionalised dialogue of the princpal historical characters.

I like books which teach me something new and I was not dissappointed by this one which I enjoyed. McMillin's dialogue was very believable and drew the various aspects of the known story together well and I now look forward to reading the rest of the series. Recommended.

Description of: Gather the Shadowmen: The Lords of the Ocean

Author: Mark M. McMillin




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