The Pyrate: The Rise of Cooper Cain is the first book in what appears to be a promising new series from Michael Aye. It follows the life of Cooper Cain as he becomes involved in piracy in the waters of the Caribbean and off the American Atlantic coast during the years preceding the War of 1812.
Aye has followed what appears to be a modern trend of moving pirate novels away from the Hollywood caricatures of pirates and introducing more believable characters. In reality there was little difference between a legal privateer and an illegal pirate and it is perhaps not surprising that the lure of easy money attracted men from all walks of life to cross this line. There were some who you would be best to steer clear of, such as Edward Teach (Blackbeard), but there were probably just as many ordinary men with family ties.
The author has a very believable cast of characters who, when not at sea, lead normal lives, albeit with a wary eye, where they have the same concerns as there law abiding fellow citizens but there is also plenty of at sea action as well as a tie in with his cast of characters from the Fighting Anthony’s series. There is even some insight into how pirates recycled their plunder, particularly ships, into legal markets.
I found the book to be a very enjoyable read which was hard to put down and I look forward to seeing how the characters will be developed through the series. Highly recommended.