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Mini-Review: Born of Tyranny: Port of Errors (Steve Cypert)

Born of Tyranny: Port of Errors
Steve Cypert

Product Details: 
Reading Level: Upper Middle Grades
Pages: 249
Publisher: Lulu (June 14, 2011)
ISBN: 1257790315
Source: book from the author in exchange for an honest review

Port of Errors (Born of Tyranny)Set in the late seventeenth century Eastern Atlantic, this epic adventure of brotherly love and betrayal shadows two orphans, Davy and Joseph, who come to bond tighter than blood. But they are soon ripped apart by a tragic event that will set into motion the birth of tyrannous revenge on behalf of their loss and place them each on a daring journey to find one another. Following many eventful years, the pirate Black-Hearted, along with Scurvy Shaw and Isabel, will find a mortal enemy in Daniel Stirvin, a captain in the Queen's Royal Navy. Black-Hearted and Captain Stirvin must face a traitorous tangle of lies and deceit trailing back to an unexpected past, unraveling an even deeper conspiracy of vengeance that will haunt them to the bitter end. Unable to abandon their cause or their men, Black-Hearted and Captain Stirvin will be forced to fight unwillingly to the death.

If you enjoy a good pirate story, you will certainly enjoy Born of Tyranny. While the majority of the story takes place on the high seas, there are instances of flashback that give great insights into the younger lives of the characters. At the center of the plot, this story shows how life’s choices can lead to surprising (and tragic) endings. 

The characters are well written. The pirates behave as you would expect pirates to. At first I thought this was meant to be a middle grades book, but I quickly realized it’s meant more for the older reader. There are some graphic scenes that might be too gory for the younger readers (but fitting of a pirate story). There is also a small amount of sexual innuendo (this is a pirate story) that would probably fly over a younger reader’s head, but I still would still be leery of including it in my classroom library. My two favorite characters were Black Hearted and Daniel. As kids, both boys were orphans that formed a strong friendship. Through a series of tragic events in their young lives, both boys ended up on opposite ends of the law. You can imagine the conflict that unfolds between the two. Black Hearted has sworn revenge on the Royal Navy and his dearest childhood friend is now a captain in the Royal Navy. 

The plot of the book is detailed. A little slow at times, it took me a while to get through the first 100 pages. I was engrossed in the story while I read it, but at the same time I didn’t feel that drive to continue reading. I tried to read the book while I was flying, but I found myself doing other things to occupy my time after twenty or so pages at a time. I think a large part of this was due to my lack of knowledge about pirates. I wanted to try something different, so I picked up this book. A true pirate fan would love this story. The novel has a sort of story-like feel to it. It doesn’t read like a history lesson; instead, it feels like I’m reading a journal from one of the characters.
I enjoyed the story line. There were enough surprises that it kept the reading fresh and exciting for me. Once I realized the role of Blackbeard, I was hooked. Who doesn’t know about Blackbeard, right? Overall, it was a good pirate adventure book that I think older readers would enjoy.



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Review: The Search for Delicious

The Search for Delicious Natalie Babbitt
Product Details

Reading level: Young Adult
Paperback: 192 pages
Publisher: Square Fish (August 21, 2007)
ISBN-10: 9780312369828
Source: My personal book

Summary from Amazon: Gaylen, the King’s messenger, a skinny boy of twelve, is off to poll the kingdom, traveling from town to farmstead to town on his horse, Marrow. At first it is merely a question of disagreement at the royal castle over which food should stand for Delicious in the new dictionary. But soon it seems that the search for Delicious had better succeed if civil war is to be avoided.

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