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Captain Blood

Captain Blood - Rafael Sabatini One bright day of the seventeenth century a former soldier turned physician Peter Blood was minding his own business taking care of his flowers. Those days very bored people entertained themselves by organizing yet another rebellion and one such swept across the small English town where our hero settled down. Peter Blood did his best to stay away from the troubles and almost - but not quite - succeed.

The rebellion was suppressed and now the victors got to punish the losers. Thanks to the King's need for cheap labor force in the Caribbean Peter Blood and some other unlucky people went straight there as slaves instead of gallows. What is the first thing that comes to mind if we think seventeenth century and Caribbean at the same time? Unicorns and rainbows? No. Cute kittens? No. Pirates aplenty, that is what.

This is a classic pirate book, make no mistake about it. While some might argue Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island is the classic pirate tale, this one most definitely holds the second spot. Unlike Treasure Island it has everything you can ask from this kind of story: naval battles, desk melees, hidden treasure, storming of heavily armed sea forts, defense of said forts, romance, and everything else you can think of. Are you unsure about the difference between a pirate and a buccaneer? Read the book and find out.

This novel did and still does influence everything related to pirates in all art forms, especially noble romantic pirate image. While the following guy is not exactly noble and romantic, I am sure Johnny Depp had this story in mind when he portrayed Jack Sparrow as you can see some similarities.
Jack Sparrow

I mentioned that the main character of the tale comes out as mostly good guy, but he still has enough shades of gray to look fairly realistic. His development makes up one of the greatest parts of the book.

The actual rating would be closer to 4 stars than 5, but I still remember the impression the book made on me when I read in during my teens. Hint: my parents literally had to force me away from it. So I upgrade the rating to 5 stars considering its nostalgia factor. This book is a classic of genre even if a little forgotten now.