This is a wonderful book! The only thing I would say I don't like is the violence. Don't worry it's not overly gory but still I wouldn't let 10 year old read it. Other than that it's a great book I would not be rating it 5 star if it wasn't!
Storyline - The fearsome pirate, Bartholomew Thorne, travels the sea, leaving destruction behind and causing fear in hearts of not only settlers but also pirates. No one crosses his path... Until Captain Declan Ross kills his second in command in an attempt to escape an island of Thorne's where they stopped to make repairs. While on the island, Anne, Captain Ross's daughter, finds an injured young man. They take him aboard but he doesn't remember his name or who he is. Captain Ross and his crew are on the run when they meet a strange monk with a treasure map tattooed on his back. But it isn't just any treasure but the biggest hoard of treasure in the world. As they journey to the island, the young man, called Cat, who they picked up, starts to have memories slowly come back. But they are not pleasant and cause fear in Cat. Captain Ross, Anne, Cat, and the crew of the William Wallace go on a daring adventure to find the monstrous treasure. But they are not the only ones searching. So is Bartholomew Thorne.
Personal Opinion - An exciting, pirate book... and it is Christian! How many Christian books do you know that can make pirates the good guys? Really? The adventure was fun and filled with action. The characters grew in Jesus and fought against evil. A story well strung together. Treasure haunting is something every kid dreams about and these pirates are off to find it. But, there is more to the treasure than what meets the eye. Christians applaud the wonderful lesson of what the real treasure is in this book.
I never thought that I would enjoy a pirate book. And I was never convinced that a pirate book, though written by a Christian author, could have an obvious Christian message. Isle of Swords, by Wayne Thomas Batson, has proved me wrong.
Out on the rolling seas we find the crew of the William Wallace and their captain, Declan Ross. They have faced many challenges just to "stay afloat." Anne, the fiery daughter of Captain Ross, has always longed to be a member of the crew. Her father, however, is against the idea and would do anything to keep her away from the piracy business forever. He also has many regrets concerning the death of his wife, who died while they were gone at sea.
While the crew was gathering supplies and repairing the ship in one of the islands, Anne wandered off. On the shore of the island she found a young lad who was badly wounded and lying unconscious. It turns out that this boy had lost all memory of who he was or where he had come from. A pouch that was found on the shore with him contained his only clues: A sparkling green gem, a lock of red hair, and a tarnished silver cross. He also had uncanny talents when it came to doing the duties of a pirate. The crew heartily accepted him and gave him the name of Cat. As the story progresses, Cat hears voices and has flashbacks of his past, which serve as clues through the tangled web of unknowns. Anne, though jealous of his natural skills and acceptance by the crew, seeks to help him through the psychological struggle.
The main enemy of the William Wallace is the infamous Bartholomew Thorne, the captain of the largest and most dastardly crew in the piracy business. Known for his relentless cruelty toward his prisoners (not to mention toward his crew,) he is always looking to destroy anyone in his way. All of the pirates also fear the British navy, as well as any of the other national navy that would seek to turn the pirates into the law and the government. All in all, the pirates do seem to maintain some sense of respect for the law, and in the end they find a way to work together to defeat evil.
The one source of hope and safety the pirates have is very unlikely - the monks of the island of St. Celestine. These monks provide a haven for the pirates, hoping to in turn convert them. One of these pirates - Padres Dominguez - holds the only key to the lost Treasure of Constantine, which is located on the uncharted Isle of Swords. He convinces Ross to sail to find this treasure, and Ross is eager to use the treasure to free him and his crew from the bonds of piracy, though the stakes are high and the journey could be fatal. This book travels through their journey to the Isle of Swords, the lessons they learn along the way, and the challenges that face them. I don't want to give too much away as far as the summary of the plot and characters. The plot is so intricately woven together, so I suggest that you read it for yourself instead of having me spoil it for you.
I want to first point out that this is not necessarily an allegory, though there are many themes of honor, courage, redemption, and trust that can be learned through the plot. I was very pleased that the characters of this book were convicted in a personal and unmistakable way for their need of the salvation that Christ offers. There is one particular part where Cat, Anne, and Declan see the parallel of Christ and the nails of the cross saving them. Padre Dominguez also talks to them about their need for a Savior throughout the story, and I was thrilled that this was a part of the obvious message of the book.
Piracy is generally not looked upon as an honorable thing. Even in this book, many of the pirates are only in the business as a last option. They are seeking a way out. However, in all that they do, Ross requires a policy of honor and respect for himself and his crew. This is very well looked upon throughout the whole book and promotes the same sense of courage, honesty, and honor. There are a few times where they are counted worthy because of their pure motives and good intentions, but I would not say that this is referring to salvation.
I honestly have no idea why I was hesitant to read this book. The characters, setting, plot - all of it - are wonderfully put together. The plot almost literally twists every chapter! It was a very hard book to put down. I found it easy to read as well as captivating. There are some bloody and fatal scenes in the book, but not overly so. I will soon start to read Batson's second pirate book, and hopefully many more of his books. Wayne Thomas Batson has become one of my favorite authors, and I highly recommend this book as well as his others.
Looking for high sea adventures? Then climb aboard the "William Wallace" and set sail for the Isle of Swords! The Isle of Swords is said to have treasures beyond reckoning, but the horrific pirate Bartholomew Thorn and his crew of "The Raven" seek to get it first! Another journey begins from author Wayne Thomas Batson on the vast seas!
Set sail on a rip roaring adventure on the high seas! From the blue Caribbean to the wild North Atlantic, follow Captain Declan Ross and the fierce (but loveable) crew of the William Wallace. Originally forced to turn to piracy, Declan Ross seeks enough wealth to leave behind the so called "sweet trade" and settle down ashore with his daughter Anne.
Anne, however, does not share her father's desire. To top it all off, the Wallace is short of supplies, leaking water, and caught in the hunting grounds of the worst pirate in history: Bartholomew Thorne. It couldn't get much worse, right?
Until the discovery of a brutally beaten lad abandoned on an island, a fateful fight against Thorne's second in command and a strange meeting with an even stranger Priest result in Declan Ross and the Wallace ranking number one on Thorne's most wanted list. A desperate race to find the legendary treasure of Constantine could give Ross the wealth he seeks. If Thorne doesn't find it first_
When Wayne Thomas Batson's book Isle of Swords came out several years ago, I literally devoured it. Flipping from page to page as fast and as long as I could! So, I figured it was high time I wrote a review.
True to form, Isle of Swords opens with a bang. Writers often talk about putting their characters into the worst possible situations and letting them work their way out again. Batson leaves nothing to be desired in this respect. From the start, there is absolutely no doubt as to what is at stake.
Batson's characters fairly jump off the page. Determined Declan Ross, headstrong Ann, and poor Cat who can't even remember his own name! Not to mention the fierce Red Eye who can't seem to collect enough weapons or Nubby (named for the stump of his missing arm) who serves as the Wallace's cook and whose favorite dish is Iguana Stew.
Isle of Swords is a story full of color and spice that will whisk you out of your chair and transport you to the swaying deck of a ship or drop you into the overarching palms and thick underbrush of a muggy jungle. Quick paced action, vivid settings, and characters you can't help but love, make Isle of Swords a story well worth reading. Recommended for readers 12+.