The Pirates of the Caribbean films by Disney have become one of the most popular film series in the past several years. The question is what allured audiences world-wide to this franchise and its concurrent theme, i.e.piracy. Piracy was common practice during the seventeenth century. While world powers were in and out of war, pirates wreaked havoc wherever they went, making their “tax-free” living off of the property of others. However, European monarchies were already noticing the advantages of having such resourceful and skilled mariners on their side as mercenaries against their adversaries. Privateers were pirates hired by the king and given amnesty for their past crimes in exchange for plundering and destroying enemy crafts, whether warships or merchant vessels. Considerable profit and freedom were the gain of pardoned criminals who only sifted their main objective toward the most convenient prey without even altering their lifestyle or habits.
However, M.L. Tyndall steps into this environment of selfish, unlawful acquisition and ruthless ambition with her distinguished characters and settings in The Redemption, a pirate tale and the first volume in her Legacy of the King’s Pirates trilogy. On one hand, Christian fiction is generally ignored by the majority of the literary world. Nevertheless, The Redemption is the beginning of a set of historical and romantic novels that prove how underestimated this minor genre in literature is. While the Pirates of the Caribbean films may have been part of the inspiration for the author’s series, she still employs her vivid imagination to paint a very detailed story, defined with realistic human emotion and aided by her rich and historically accurate language.
Set during 1665 in the Caribbean amid the famous Spanish Main, Tyndall introduces a strong heroine in Lady Charlisse Bristol. Despite being only twenty years old, Charlisse is determined to finally escape the tyranny of her perverted uncle and find her father, her only remaining relative. Agnostic, outspoken, and brave, Charlisse is not only conspicuously beautiful but also an admirable match against the dangers she faces during her voyage across the sea. Captain Edmund Merrick, on the other hand, is a unique British privateer and former pirate who has devoted himself to God and his ship, the “Redemption.” Merrick and Charlisse inevitably cross paths out of necessity, and their opposite temperaments attract. Merrick’s nobility, sense of honor, his steadfast Christian beliefs, and his choice of profession puzzle Charlisse as she is forced to be a passenger on the “Redemption.”
Romance, treachery, warfare, and the unfolding of personal secrets surround this scrutiny of history and faith in a narrative that combines many themes into one solid storyline. Told from Merrick’s and Charlisse’s individual perspectives, The Redemption is a contemplative work that intertwines a defense of Christianity, the pursuit of virtue, and the characteristics of pirates in an adventure that displays swordsmanship, meditation, and action to increase the plausibility of all events described. Naval battles are faced off with a criticism of England’s religion and the illicit behavior of Anglican clergy while surveying British courts and class society during that time period. The candor of Tyndall’s moral lessons, her understanding of human nature, and the thrill of traveling the open sea with creative fictional characters will enthrall a reader of The Redemption and set his/her course toward the rest of the trilogy.