Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Flint and Silver

I wrote about John Drake's Treasure Island prequels after reading the second novel in the series, Pieces of Eight. That one was on the bookshelves when I was in England in May so that's what I read first. It was good enough for me to get the first book in the series, Flint and Silver.

First, I want to stress that these are not children's books. They are aimed at adults who enjoyed Treasure Island as a child. The object of the series is to tell the back story of who Captain Flint was and how his treasure came to be buried on a desert island. It also tells how Silver lost his leg and gained his wife and parrot.

Flint and Silver is the story of how the two men became pirates, joined forces, then split apart. It is well-written in period-sounding, nautical language that any pirate will enjoy.

Of the two novels, Pieces of Eight is the better. There are a few oddities about how Flint and Silver is constructed. Drake is anxious to get his characters together so the chapters are not in chronological order. When the heroine, Selene, is introduced, Flint and Silver have already been sailing together for some time but the chapter where they actually meet come later. Be sure to pay attention to the dates at the top of the chapters and it all makes sense.

Another quibble - the book glosses over the time that the two spent working together.

Regardless, it is still a fun read.

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