No Treasure in “The Pirate Queen”

My mother always taught us if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything…which makes it difficult for me to say that I found little to treasure in Patricia Hickman’s “The Pirate Queen.” The premise is great – a woman who has it all decides to walk away from her philandering husband only to be stopped by his announcement that he is dying. Doesn’t that just get your gears turning? It did mine and I waited anxiously for my review copy to appear.

If you’re like me, it’s the characters that give a story a place in your heart and I can forgive weak plots, unrealistic scenarios and a host of other things if the characters will come off the page and live in my imagination. Unfortunately, these characters remained just names on a page. I felt like I knew the main character just about as much when I ended the book as when I started it. I would have loved to have delved into this character’s thoughts and motivations…what prompted her to decide to end her marriage at this time, why was she packing up after a big party – wasn’t she tired? Did she resent his illness and why had she stayed in this marriage so long, anyway?

At a writing seminar years ago, the instructor taught us to look at our plots and “make it worse” and keep doing that until we’d reached the worst case scenario for our characters but I think you can take this too far. There was a great opportunity in this plot to develop character and look at the ways women will put aside their own agendas to care for those in need…whether they deserve it or not. Unfortunately, that opportunity was missed.

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review as part of their “Blogging for Books” program.

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