Review of "The Red Flag" by Julia Maiola - 5 stars

Let me start with how this novel is summarised on Goodreads: 

Captain Stephen Boswell sails under the red flag, a symbol of no mercy. It’s the only reason he has lived this long. The only reason the navy has not found him yet. But they are closing in. And if they catch him, they will execute him for piracy.

Ten-year-old Alice Bradford doesn’t know why she is alive. When Captain Boswell found her hiding on his ship, she expected him to kill her, and it seemed his own crew had expected likewise. But now she is his prisoner and she fears that she will be forever. Somehow, though, it seems that the captain might be more afraid of the navy than she is of him. Something from his past has him ill at ease, Alice realizes. Even if the navy cannot bring him to his knees, his own paranoia will.

Decades ago I read a century old novel about a young boy hiding on a ship that turned out to be crewed by pirates: Jack Holborn. In that story you saw the same fascination with a charismatic but also enigmatic captain. Also here you cannot really be certain if he is good or bad. It had me days wondering.

I have to say the girl sounded a bit too mature for her age. You almost expect them to fall for each other.

And I wondered why they not just disappeared to the other side of the world and build an honest living as a trader or even leave the sea behind and start afresh in the colonies.

A book
that has you thinking about it for days afterward.

5 stars

You can buy the book here:



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