Set in the late 16th century, this pirate tale follows a Cornish sea-faring gentleman, Sir Oliver Tressilian, as he is villainously betrayed by his jealous brother. Forced to serve as a slave on a Spanish galley, Sir Oliver is liberated by Barbary pirates, whom he joins under the name 'Sakr-el-Bahr', the hawk of the sea, and swears vengeance against his brother
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The sea hawk
While I am a big fan of Rafael Sabinti's work. I can still be subjective but I found this novel to be more enjoyable than Captain Blood. If you haven't had the pleasure of reading any of his works those written of the pirates and corsairs read like a pirates of the Caribbean movie.
Beginning of the mature Sabatini; skip the first half, and ignore the Errol Flynn film
Sabatini’s long literary nonage ends abruptly after Part I of The Sea-Hawk, which you can safely skip if you find any of it dragging; it’s domestic melodrama, similar to much of what he’d already written, and what you need to know is recapitulated in Part II. His mature period begins suddenly with Part II, which is an awkward and abrupt transition from Part I; but once Sabatini hits his stride, the writing is nearly as gripping as anything in his prime. The climax works well and makes a reasonable amount of sense, though Sabatini does revert to some earlier bad habits in the anti-climaxes, which are unduly burdened by coincidence—enough so that a character even needs to allude to them.
Note that the Errol Flynn movie (which I walked out of) was not based on the novel. The silent film, however, was; and what I saw of it was quite well done.
This edition, and the free Dvaraka one, have spurious line breaks; I instead read an ePub from FeedBooks.