smart is the new pretty

The Rebel Pirate by Donna Thorland (Book Review)

The Rebel Pirate by Donna Thorland (Book Review)

The Rebel Pirate by Donna Thorland was a random read for me. I picked it up at Barnes and Noble because it was on sale. There are so many great books for tiny sums on sale at B&N, and this one caught my eye. I’ve always been fascinated with the American Revolution (did anybody else out there grow up watching the PBS show Liberty’s Kids?) and thanks to my pre-teen obsession with Pirates of the Caribbean, I love pirates too. Hence, my decision to read a book about revolutionary-era pirates.


This book is sort of a romance masquerading as historical fiction. A historical romance, per se, but honestly I didn’t mind.  I like romance novels, particularly historical ones (or ones that have a family drama plot outside of the romance itself). The Rebel Pirate held my interest. It was fun and easy to read, but smart. Donna Thorland, the author, is actually well-versed in the historical period when the book is set. Her book jacket bio reveals that she has a degree from Yale as well as an MFA from the University of Southern California. Plus, she worked at the Peabody Essex Museum. As an art museum junkie, I love the ties to a museum.


The book is about Sarah Ward, a swashbuckling heroine whose time in dame school did little to stop her from falling into trouble with the law. It’s 1775 and smuggling is rampant, and when the Ward’s ship, The Sally, is boarded by a naval officer named James Sparhawk, a succession of troubles follow. Sparhawk is a swoon-worthy love interest. When a chest of gold goes missing from The Sally, Sparhawk is implicated as a thief, and Sarah is determined to save him.

Honestly, this book isn’t going to win the Nobel Prize, but it was fun to read. It was the type of book that made me excited to snuggle into bed and read, and I would say if you are lucky enough to find it on the sale table like me, go ahead and pick it up.
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