Image Map Image Map

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Blackhearts by Nichole Castroman (Review)

YA, Historical Fiction, Retelling
Publication Date:February 9, 2016
Published By:  Simon Pulse
WebsiteNichole Castroman on Goodreads

My review copy:e-galley for review
Buy it:
Amazon ~ B&N ~ Chapters


Blackbeard the pirate was known for striking fear in the hearts of the bravest of sailors. But once he was just a young man who dreamed of leaving his rigid life behind to chase adventure in faraway lands. Nothing could stop him—until he met the one girl who would change everything.

Edward "Teach" Drummond, son of one of Bristol's richest merchants, has just returned from a year-long journey on the high seas to find his life in shambles. Betrothed to a girl he doesn’t love and sick of the high society he was born into, Teach dreams only of returning to the vast ocean he’d begun to call home. There's just one problem: convincing his father to let him leave and never come back.

Following her parents' deaths, Anne Barrett is left penniless and soon to be homeless. Though she’s barely worked a day in her life, Anne is forced to take a job as a maid in the home of Master Drummond. Lonely days stretch into weeks, and Anne longs for escape. How will she ever realize her dream of sailing to CuraƧao—where her mother was born—when she's stuck in England?

From the moment Teach and Anne meet, they set the world ablaze. Drawn to each other, they’re trapped by society and their own circumstances. Faced with an impossible choice, they must decide to chase their dreams and go, or follow their hearts and stay.


The devil hang him.  If Master Drummond wants venison for his son's return, he should come down here and buy it himself.  If the butcher tries to touch me again, I'll stick him like the pig he is.
He wasn't the only observant one in the household, and Anne could see a battle being waged.  He was torn between wanting to please his father and wanting to make his own path.
He hesitated.  Ever since he'd set eyes on her, he'd had no peace.  Why should he grant her something that eluded him?

My Thoughts

  Blackhearts was a spectacularly written, and beautifully told story.  When starting this book I had prepared for something very different from what I received.  This being said, I did have issues putting this book down.  I all but devoured every single word written and allowed the real way to fall away.  Castroman truly has not only held up the the expectations I had for this book, but she has blown them straight out of the water.  This is the romance that Blackbeard wanted, and it is also the breaking point that pushed him to become the pirate we all know.  

  I thought the plot of this book would follow the early years or time of Blackbeard, I didn't realize that it would go back to where it all began.  This is not just some twisted tale, it is the roots of a much larger tale.  From the synopsis I understood that we would be taken back to his teenage years, but I expected more time at sea, more of a start to the nitty gritty.  This was not so much the action packed book I had anticipated, but more a historical fiction/romance.  Despite not being what I expected,  I appreciated that the story was told from more than one point of view.  I loved the difference in Anne and Teach, getting more from each and yet seeing the bigger picture build through each of their eyes.  This helped keep the pacing up and made each step forward more exciting and detailed.

  Anne is wonderful.  She has her tragic background.  Her father loved her but did not claim her, and upon losing him she lost everything.  Despite this like the strong character that she is, she does what it takes to survive.  Though she does not do it laying down and she is not without her plans.  Anne does not wish to exist being treated as less than she is, even if that means she has to take dangerous steps to achieve her end.  I instantly liked Anne and everything that set her apart.  This was headed by her inability to give up no matter what the circumstance was.  I think that many will have a hard time finding fault in this great character.

  Teach appeared to be be every bit the pompous ass.  Though he was also taught very quickly that looks can be deceiving, and in doing so learned that what he was believed to want, he no longer wanted.  It took time for me to accept that Teach made such a change so quickly.  I understand what a pretty face can do to a man but there was so much change and drastic.  In the start he thought Anne's inability to hold her tongue needed to be taken care of, as it would be if a maid could not do so in a house.  However, not long after he begins to see something in her, something his betrothed does not have: intelligence.  It was only when Teach kept good to his word and I could see clearly that her cared for Anne that I started to fall for him myself.

  When you combine Anne and Teach you get that witty chemistry that people love to read.  Though they do not fall for each other right away, they have far too much in common to do anything but love each other.  I knew it would come at some point, but I didn't see the strength that it would hold when the two finally admitted it.  There were times that I felt they fell entirely too quickly, though I also understand that sometimes that's how it goes.  They did get to know each other deeper and had a greater understanding of each other before they fell as deep as they did.  

  Though this was not the retelling that I was expecting, it was still a spectacular read.  I would like to send a heads up for those that are going in expecting a captivating pirate retelling; Blackhearts is more of a start, and a historical fiction/romance.  This being said I would highly recommend picking it up for its beautiful writing and captivating tale.  I will warn you that the end does not feel like the end and does leave you wanting more.  This being said I will be watching this author and making sure I do not miss one word of her phenomenal writing.

Posted by Tiffany

No comments:

Post a Comment