by Nicole Castroman
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Publication Date: February 9th 2016
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Genre: Young Adult | Retelling | Historical Fiction
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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 Curaçao—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. (Goodreads)
When I first discovered Blackhearts by Nicole Castroman, I knew I would absolutely HAVE to read the book. I am completely fascinated by anything that has to do with pirates, and even though this was the story about before Blackbeard actually became a pirate, I enjoyed so much! It definitely left me wanting more.
The story is told from alternate points-of-view between the two main characters, Anne and Edward (Blackbeard). I really liked both of these characters, and I especially enjoyed watching the relationship grow between the two. Anne was very much a strong young lady, and I loved her stubbornness. Edward was not at all what I expected, but the more the story went along, the more I loved him. And I could totally see him growing into Blackbeard as well.
Blackhearts is actually the first retelling that I've read about Blackbeard, and I have to admit, I was definitely intrigued by his story. I even had to visit Wikipedia a few times throughout the novel just to read up on him, and his history was really interesting! Now that we've read the story about before he became a pirate, I'd love to see a story about his pirating adventures.
I loved the setting for the novel. It's definitely one of my favorite time periods to read about. (Pirates!) The details were very well described, and I could see everything perfectly in my mind. I was happy with the ending of this book, but it also left me wanting more. As of the moment, this is a standalone novel, but the ending leaves off in a way where there could definitely be a sequel in the future. I'm hoping to the powers that be that there will be a sequel in the future, but if not, I'm content with the way this ended.
Overall; I really enjoyed Blackhearts! I will definitely be checking out more of Blackbeards retellings in the future! Also I will most definitely be checking out more books by Nicole Castroman in the future. This book was great, and not at all what I expected. Consider adding this to your TBR today!!