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I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
1716, Merrin Smith is an orphan desperate to unravel the secrets of her past. Disguised as a sailor, she joins the crew of a pirate ship helmed by the tenacious (and rumored a madman) Captain Erik Winters. They will sail for the island of Bracile, a place hidden between air and sea that exists only for a moment every two years, and which has never returned any man who has sailed for its shores. Since Merrin can read, she becomes the Captain’s apprentice, looking for clues to the island’s location as the ship sails to the heart of the ocean. She will have to keep her identity hidden from the Captain, as well as the ship's quartermaster who speaks of legends of the sea, and boatswain that Merrin feels drawn to. During the journey, she begins to suspect that her own past might have more to do with Dunn’s legends and myths than she ever could have guessed.
I lucked out when I was approved for Seven Jane's debut historical fantasy novel entitled The Isle of Gold. The genre is quickly becoming one of my favorites, especially when pirates are involved. Anyway, this adventure quickly pulled me in and didn't let go. The author's writing is incredibly visual and it's incredibly easy to see the characters, the world they inhabit, and the stuff of legends that they encounter. It's just under 250 pages long, but Jane truly excels at world-building and character development. I mean, I could just about feel the ship beneath my feet and the sea spray in my face. Plus, each character, not just Merrin, felt fully fleshed out and completely. Unfortunately, it isn't all that original or unique, but I can say now that it's over I wish the story hadn't concluded so quickly. I wouldn't say no to seeing more from this world in the future.
Overall, The Isle of Gold by Seven Jane is a marvelous debut historical fantasy novel set during the Golden Age of Piracy. If you like Pirates of the Caribbean, The Girl From Everywhere by Heidi Heilig, and Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller, I have a feeling you would also enjoy diving into the world of The Isle of Gold. I'm looking forward to seeing more from this author in the future.
I read this ARC from September 26 - 27, 2018 and my review is also on Goodreads. The Isle of Gold by Seven Jane will be released on October 9th, 2018.