Author: Helen Hart
Publisher: Silverwood Books
Publication date: July 2011
Paperback: 238 pages
Source: Received from publisher
My Rating: 8/10
I am Billy Baxter.
I'm leaving England behind. Far behind. I'm bound for the Windward Isles on a tall-masted ship called the Bonny Marie. We'll be at sea for ten weeks or more. During all that time I'll run and climb and swear and hear myself called 'boy'.
And the Captain never need know that once upon a time I was a maid named Becky.
1719, and the high seas are plagued by the lawless. Pirates rule the crystal waters of the Caribbean, hunting heavily-laden merchant ships with savage ferocity. Entire crews are condemned to die beneath a cutlass blade unless they swear allegiance to the black banner.
Penniless Becky Baxter crops her hair, dresses in breeches, and leaves the dangerous backstreets of Bristol far behind. She embarks on a new life of adventure and fortune as the youngest deckhand on a merchant ship, the Bonny Marie. But she quickly discovers that there are far more dangerous enemies than her drunken Ma and evil Mr Crudder...
This was such a fun read!
I've never read a novel based around pirates before so I didn't really know what to expect but I sure wasn't disappointed.
From the first page of The Black Banner I was thrown into a different time with a different way of speaking, dressing and travelling.
I'm a big fan of the Pirates of the Caribbean films and this book reminded me of them. The book had a different take on pirates and that was great but throw in a female protagonist dressing as a boy and I'm all set for a really great read!
A lot of things happen in the book so it was a really quick, mostly easy read. Apart from a few sad events throughout the story it was packed with a perfect combination of adventure and great characters.
I thought the ending was a little abrupt but, overall, The Black Banner was a fantastic read and is definitely recommended.