The Legendary Adventures of the Pirate Queens

  • by James Grant Goldin
  • Narrated by Shiromi Arserio
  • 8 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

The subtitle is A Serio-Comic Novel of Anne Bonny & Mary Read. It isn't the whole story of Anne and Mary; this is more like an origin story. The tale is essentially true in its outlines, but historical accuracy is occasionally overwhelmed by authorial invention. The scene is the Caribbean, 1718: Englishwoman Mary Read is forced to disguise herself as sailor Martin Read; then things get more complicated when she falls in love with another sailor, Peter Meredith, a brilliant man but rather clueless about the sea... who also has no idea that his best friend is a woman. To make matters worse, they're both captured by pirates. To make matters worse yet, one of the pirates is Anne Bonny, Southern belle turned scourge of the Caribbean. Anne takes a very strong liking to Martin Read - which enrages her lover, Captain Calico Jack Rackam. Mary's life becomes a whirlwind of intrigue, imprisonment, deadly duels, and unwanted sexual advances that are inappropriate even by the rather loose standards of 18th-century pirates. And there are other problems: the new Governor of the Bahamas wants to put an end to Anne Bonny's career, and a vicious enemy from Calico Jack's past is out for a bloody revenge. The only way out of all these various predicaments is for Mary Read and Anne Bonny to team up: to join swords and put their trust in each other and in no one else. Based on a true story, The Legendary Adventures of the Pirate Queens combines drama and comedy to tell the tale of two women who in ordinary times would never have met; and yet did meet, and went on to become the most fearsome pair of sea-faring hellions in the West Indies.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

A Great Pirate Adventure!

This was an excellent pirate read! Filled with wit and historical detail, it had me laughing out loud much of the time. I'm a very picky and discerning reader--I don't give 5 stars lightly, but boy howdy does this deserve 5 stars! I loved it. Highly entertaining.

The story of Anne Bonny and Mary Read is usually reduced to a small paragraph in pirate history books. They sailed with Calico Jack. They dressed like men. They were spared the noose because they were pregnant. Jack was not so lucky, and was hung out to dry as a warning to other pirates on an island not far from Port Royal. Mary died soon after from a fever. Anne Bonny and her child disappeared into the mist.

Well, this book fills in the details deliciously. The author paints a portrait of Mary, Anne, and Jack in a wild tale that leaves you hungry for more.

I've been on a pirate book binge for months, and this is definitely at the top of my favorites list along with Matt Tomerlin's "Devil's Fire" trilogy and Tim Powers' "On Stranger Tides" (You know, the book the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise butchered).

I listed to the audio version, and Ms. Arserio is brilliant. Wouldn't change a thing about her performance, and I hardly ever say that either.

Bravo!!
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- Julia

Avast land lubber! Feast ye ears upon this tale

What did you love best about The Legendary Adventures of the Pirate Queens?

I just loved this tale of Mary Read and Anne Bonny and their pirate adventures.


What did you like best about this story?

Goldin artfully contrasts two very different experiences of women on the high seas. Mary Read is compelled to conceal her sex and masquerade as her late brother, Martin Read. Whereas, Anne Bonny does not need to conceal her. Sex, in contrast she uses it to her advantage and is a legend in herself. The two women come from vastly different backgrounds, express contrasting values yet complement each other to be a fearsome duo.


What does Shiromi Arserio bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

The narrator, Shiromi Arserio, brings the characters and the story to life. Her singing of sea shanties takes this audiobook to the next level.


Any additional comments?

This is a fun and entertaining story of hi jinks on the high seas.

Fairs winds readers!

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- Kat

Book Details

  • Release Date: 10-28-2014
  • Publisher: Basilisk Books