Ships. Storms. Pirates. Swashbuckling. Action. Adventure. Romance. And, of course, enough faith to fill the hold of a Spanish galleon. If that’s what you like from a book, MaryLu Tyndall delivers with The Redemption, first of a new series titled Legacy of the King’s Pirates.
Lovely and noble-born Lady Charlisse Bristol flees to the Caribbean for two reasons: she’s running from her abusive uncle, and running to Edward Bristol, the father she has only heard her mother tell of. But then her ship is lost in a storm, and she finds herself alone on a deserted island seemingly with no hope of rescue.
Enter pirate Edmund Merrick. When he beaches his ship on the island for repairs, he finds the half-starved Charlisse and immediately takes her aboard. Carefully protecting Charlisse from his amoral crew, the Christian pirate agrees to take her to Port Royal, where she will search for her father. Then he learns that her father is Edward Bristol, also known as Edward the Terror, a vicious and bloodthirsty pirate Merrick’s been hunting for years. Merrick is torn between winning Charlisse’s heart and bringing her blackguard father to justice. And plenty of surprises await both Merrick and Charlisse as they learn what it means to serve a loving God.
In general, The Redemption is a well-written book. Tyndall’s style is somewhat jarring in the first chapter, but then settles into a steady rise and fall that neatly echoes the swell of the sea. While the basic story has been told many times before by many different authors, Tyndall manages to throw the reader some surprises in the second half of the book. In spite of one or two unrealistic incidents, a somewhat predictable plot in regard to the romance elements, and an ending that feels a bit contrived, the book sails along acceptably.
That said, don’t expect this to be much different from any other pirate-romance-adventure book. As interesting as the story is, the characters stick closely to their genre stereotypes: the darkly handsome pirate captain, the beautiful and high-spirited young woman of principle, the too-smooth first mate, the bearded and filthy rogue. They eventually grow beyond this, but only to a degree; to me, they seemed to be escapees from similar books.
However, both Merrick and Charlisse have one strong strike for them, and that is their genuine spiritual struggles. Neither is a sanitized Christian. Charlisse doubts God’s love and detests the Church because her abusive uncle is a bishop; Merrick is trying to find his spiritual feet while shedding the baggage of his past. Both are unsure of their faith and the other’s feelings. This generates good tension between them as they second-guess each other and jump to unwarranted conclusions.
Of course, the gallant pirate ends up with the lovely lady by the end of the book, but that left me with a nagging question: what has Tyndall saved for the second book of her series, The Reliance? If The Redemption is to be only the first book, I would expect to see at least one thread of the plot left dangling. Instead, all the plot threads are neatly tied up when the book ends.
Overall, The Redemption is a good book. It suffers from the clichés of its genre, but it entertains while delivering a strong Christian message. For women and older teen girls, I would moderately recommend it. – Rachel Niehaus, Christian Book Previews.com
Lady Charlisse Bristol sets off on a voyage in search of a father she never knew, only to find herself shipwrecked on a desert island. Near starvation, she is rescued by a band of pirates and their fiercely handsome leader, Edmund Merrick. Will Clarisse win her struggle against the seductive lure of this pirate captain? While battling his attraction to this winsome lady, Edmund offers to help Charlisse on her quest-until he discovers her father is none other than Edward the Terror, the cruelest pirate on the Caribbean.
Can Edmund win this lady's love while shielding her from his lecherous crew and working to bring her father to justice?