Friends, it was my grandmother who taught me the importance of telling one’s own story, of not allowing the words of others to stand for us. Lies that snare and trap. So in these last moments, I have a final question to put before you, a question I find I cannot answer for myself. Is a murderer born, or is she made?”

Prologue, page 2

In a nutshell


A thrilling love story that begins in France in 1610 and travels through Amsterdam and the Canary Islands into the 1920s where a ship known as The Ghost Ship floats silently on the water hunting pirates to liberate the enslaved. It is manned by those who love the sea and loathe slavery, but the bravest amongst this motley crew are not what they seem. If caught and arrested, they will be hanged for their crimes.

Book Club Notes


This is the third novel written by Kate Mosse inspired by the Huguenot Diaspora. The love story at the center of the novel is inspired by two real eighteenth-century female pirates who feature in Kate Mosse’s book – Warrior Queens and Quiet Revolutionaries. The book begins at the end, in 1921, and although you now have an inkling of an idea as to how the book will end, it’s not enough to give the story away. In fact that prologue is what hooks you in, leaving you desperate to find out how the Captain of the Ghost Ship ends up in cell sentenced to swing.

It is a brilliant book, masterfully written. A tale that expertly weaves history into fiction in a way that makes the world of the early 1600s come alive beautifully and frightingly. It is the novel you’d expect from Kate Mosse, one that at over 400 pages feels short and ends with just enough loose ends untied to let you decide the final fate of the protagonists.

Read If


You enjoy historical fiction, pirate stories and anything written by Kate Mosse.



Storyline – 10/10
Writing – 10/10
Character Development – 9/10
Plot Twist – 8/10
Shareability – 10/10
9.0Overall Score
A note on our book ratings

Storyline: How good is the storyline? Is it believable and complex or does it make you shake your head in its ridiculousness?

Writing: How well written is the book? Do you find yourself wowed by the writing or unimpressed?

Character Development: Do the characters evolve and grow through the book and are they multi-dimensional?

Plot Twist: Were you able to predict the end, or did the author give you some surprises along the way to keep you on your toes?

Shareability: How likely are you to share the book?

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