Peg Brennan hasn't held a sword since she was captured at sea and imprisoned 10 years ago. But as her fingers slide around the hilt of the rapier beside her, she knows that the life she has made for her bastard son in Bath is about to change for the worse - and still she cannot stop herself. What she doesn't know is that a darker threat will soon arrive to drag her back into the blackness that can only exist in a pirate's heart.
Sailing toward the port town is Mary Read - the woman Peg left behind to die in Jamaica nine years earlier. Her life has been as hard as Peg's has been mundane, providing bitter sauce for the cold revenge she intends to serve her former love. Mary Read plans to kill Peg - the woman who is really Anne Bonny - as payment for her suffering. But fate seldom adheres to the plans of men, and even less so for women who have tasted forbidden fruit.
More than a rousing adventure story in the vein of Treasure Island and Captain Blood, Black Hearts White Bones delivers a broadside to convention by daring to portray these legendary pirates as real women refusing to surrender to the mores of their time. Eschewing gratuitous bodice-ripping for a serious look at these two anti-heroines, debut author William Charles Furney gives us a resounding answer to the question, "If it is true that only those women who behave badly make history, can two women loving badly rewrite it?"
Though Black Hearts White Bones is a what-if novel that abounds in history, intrigue, and mystery, the story is always about Bonny and Read. The tension between them is present throughout, and little is what it appears to be. In the quest to regain that which Mary Read stole from her, Anne discovers clues about the Lost Colony, attempts to save the fortress city Charles Town, and discovers her true self. As the woman who would resurrect a pirate nation, Mary Read soon realizes that some bonds are not meant to broken - a circumstance that begins to drive Anne mad.
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