THE REBEL PIRATE

Renegades of the Revolution

Donna Thorland

1775, Boston Harbor. James Sparhawk, Master and Commander in the British Navy, knows trouble when he sees it. The ship he’s boarded is carrying ammunition and gold…into a country on the knife’s edge of war. Sparhawk’s duty is clear: confiscate the cargo, impound the vessel and seize the crew. But when one of the ship’s boys turns out to be a lovely girl, with a loaded pistol and dead-shot aim, Sparhawk finds himself held hostage aboard a Rebel privateer.

Sarah Ward never set out to break the law. Before Boston became a powder keg, she was poised to escape the stigma of being a notorious pirate’s daughter by wedding Micah Wild,

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1775, Boston Harbor. James Sparhawk, Master and Commander in the British Navy, knows trouble when he sees it. The ship he’s boarded is carrying ammunition and gold…into a country on the knife’s edge of war. Sparhawk’s duty is clear: confiscate the cargo, impound the vessel and seize the crew. But when one of the ship’s boys turns out to be a lovely girl, with a loaded pistol and dead-shot aim, Sparhawk finds himself held hostage aboard a Rebel privateer.

Sarah Ward never set out to break the law. Before Boston became a powder keg, she was poised to escape the stigma of being a notorious pirate’s daughter by wedding Micah Wild, one of Salem’s most successful merchants. Then a Patriot mob destroyed her fortune and Wild played her false by marrying her best friend and smuggling a chest of Rebel gold aboard her family’s ship.

Now branded a pirate herself, Sarah will do what she must to secure her family’s safety and her own future. Even if that means taking part in the cat and mouse game unfolding in Boston Harbor, the desperate naval fight between British and Rebel forces for the materiel of war—and pitting herself against James Sparhawk, the one man she cannot resist.

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  • NAL
  • Paperback
  • March 2014
  • 416 Pages
  • 9780451415400

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About Donna Thorland

Graduating from Yale with a degree in Classics and Art History, Donna Thorland managed architecture and interpretation at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, MA, for several years. She then earned an MFA in film production from the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts. She has been a Disney/ABC Television Writing Fellow and a WGA Writer’s Access Project Honoree, and has written for the TV shows Cupid and Tron: Uprising. The director of several award-winning short films, her most recent project aired on WNET Channel 13. Her fiction has appeared in Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, and she is the author of The Turncoat, the first novel in her Renegades of the Revolution series.

Praise

“Let Donna Thorland sweep you back to the American Revolution, into a world of spies, suspense, skullduggery, and sex.”William Martin, New York Times Bestselling Author of Back Bay

“A combination of historical espionage and smoldering romance, Thorland’s first novel is a surprising and engrossing tale. Immersing the reader in 1777 Philadelphia, sweeping from decadent high-society balls to the filth of battlefield infirmaries, Thorland exhibits real passion for the time period. Fans of Philippa Gregory and Loretta Chase will find The Turncoat a thrilling read.”Booklist

“A stay-up-all-night, swashbuckling, breath-holding adventure of a novel…an extraordinary book about an extraordinary heroine.”Lauren Willig, national bestselling author of the Pink Carnation series

“Very entertaining.”Margaret George, New York Times bestselling author of Elizabeth I

Discussion Questions

What is your overall response to the novel? What do you like best? Do you mind that the story takes place before events of The Turncoat, the first book in the Renegades of the Revolution trilogy?

Were you surprised to learn of the naval skirmishes between the British and Rebels that took place in Boston Harbor and all up and down the New England coast, even as the more familiar events in Lexington and Concord were unfolding? How has your understanding of the American Revolution changed after reading this book?

Which secondary characters did you like best, and why?

Angela Ferrers also appears in The Turncoat. Discuss her role in both books.

Many of the characters in The Rebel Pirate lack strong political conviction, but by the end many of them have joined the Rebel side. Discuss the events that lead each character to this conclusion, and the various ways in which each is “radicalized” to take up arms against the prevailing government. Does this have implications for our own age?

James Sparhawk and Sarah Ward are drawn to each other right from the start. Does Donna Thorland convince you that their attraction goes deeper than mere lust? How does she accomplish that? Do you find their romance satisfying? What future do you envision for them?

Without realizing that Anthony Trent and James Sparhawk are related in any way, Sarah becomes engaged to the father of the man she loves. It’s a risky plot twist. Does Donna Thorland pull it off?

Anthony Trent is not quite the murderer that his son believes, but he’s not entirely innocent either. Discuss the choices he has made and his efforts to make amends. Do you believe he is thoroughly reformed?

Discuss the relationship between Benjamin Ward and Charles Ansbach. What role does honor play? How does their unequal social status affect their relationship and the Ward family’s fortunes?

Discuss the role of money in the book, and during this time period. What happens to the characters when they get it, and when they lose it? Who plays false to acquire money, and what happens to them when they’re found out? What do you think of the way captured ships, and their cargo, were taken as “prizes” to enrich the captors? Can you think of a modern-day equivalent?

Betrayal is a pervasive theme. Discuss the various perceived or confirmed betrayals that the characters commit, what motivates them, and what consequences follow. Who, on the other hand, chooses loyalty over betrayal, and how do they fare?

Sarah had a happy childhood growing up in Salem. Drawing upon the few details that we’re told, discuss what her childhood might have been like. How does it compare to Sparhawk’s upbringing? How do their experiences compare to the ways children are raised in this country today?

What do you think you will remember about this book six months from now?