Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Books of Note: Isle of Swords by Wayne Thomas Batson

So last Friday, I was incredibly lucky to meet the Author Wayne Thomas Batson at the FPEA Convention here in Florida and promised to write a review for his book "Isle of Swords" (which I got a signed copy of!) I have read both this book and it's sequel, "Isle of Fire" before and throughly enjoyed them for many different reasons.

First of all, they are a comeback of the classical swashbuckler, (which you will know I lament the loss of if you have read my Pirates of the Caribbean movie reviews). They are great, fast-paced adventures that can be enjoyed by readers of all ages, and are very exciting and hard to put down. I also really appreciated the Scottish flare added here with Captain Declan Ross and his daughter and the fact that his ship is called the William Wallace.

I think what I liked most about these books though was the amazing cast of characters. Both main and supporting characters alike were so well written and likable that you can't help but feel their victories and defeats as you read. Anne is a great main female protagonist because she doesn't come off as annoying even though she goes her own way and is a bit rebellious. She is more of a real Scotswoman than one of those annoying teenage girls that seem to overpopulate Young Adult literature these days. And Cat too is a very likable character and gives the book a bit of an angst factor as well. But it's not just the main characters who are fun to read about either, it's supporting character like Jules, Nubby and, my personal favorite, Jacques St. Pierre--he was definitely one of my favorite characters.

And then there are the villains, and Mr. Batson can really make a good baddie! There are definitely no grey areas in these books and that is one thing I really loved about this. Anyone who has read my previous posts probably knows that I LOVE a really evil baddie, and these books deliver! To this day there are few villains I have read about, espicially in the YA genre, that have out-eviled Thorne and (even scarier) The Merchant. In fact, every time I think of really evil villains aside from history, these guys come to mind. I think it's great when kids' books have identifiable bad guys. Otherwise, what are they going to learn?

So overall, this book was a great adventure, a wonderful swashbuckler, and had a great cast of characters (and a good sense of humor) so it deserves five stars from me!

(Both of these books can be found on my Amazon AStore under the category "Books of Note")


  1. I want to re-read these, because the first time I read them, I was still getting used to the gory bits (which I loved). I do recall finding the Author's lack of seamanship knowledge extremely painful, though, and their cook getting upset because everyone kept giving him spices for his birthday (apparently the Author didn't know that spices were in fact extremely valuable?). But I know that I probably would have loved these when I was little; gore, pirates, treasure - loved those kind of stories! ;)

  2. Well, it's kind of typical of the seamanship, but there was so much I loved about these that I'm willing to be forgiving ;) I really want to re-read them now too, but I have so many other books waiting!

  3. I've come to expect authors to know next to nothing about sailing, too, but I still mark 'em down for it. ;) I can't remember - in "Isle of Fire" did they ever tell you what that book The Merchant had was made out of?

  4. I can't really remember, It's been a while since I read it because I don't own a copy. I think it did, but I'm not sure.

  5. Knowing what sort of character The Merchant was, I think we can safely assume the book was made of human skin! You're talking about the torture book, right...? That part when they found the book made me shiver. Truly a serious baddie, as Hazel would say. I thoroughly enjoyed these books as well, though it has been a couple of years since I read them. I loved the whole sea thing, though I'm not well versed in sailing techniques so any inconsistency didn't trouble my overall enjoyment of the story.

  6. Yep, probably human skin ;) Yeah, books on how to torture people are definitely marks of serious baddies.