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  • Writer's pictureEsther Wallace

Book Review: The Sea Hawk


Sir Oliver Tressilian is happily engaged to the woman of his dreams--until her brother is murdered and, through betrayal, Sir Oliver is accused of the deed.

Before he can clear his name, his betrayer has him abducted and sold into slavery. Now unable to return home, Sir Oliver vows revenge, even if he must accomplish it through piracy.


This is a great instance of 'read the book, don't wait for the movie.' Don't get me wrong, for those Errol Flynn fans out there, of which I am one, I enjoy the film, the Sea Hawk, which was very, very loosely based on this book. That being said, while the film is strictly an action/adventure film, the book has the struggles of humanity at its heart.

Very few books captivate me, but this one, I will return to many times, I believe.


It has a little of everything. As the Grandfather says in The Princess Bride, "Are you kidding? Fencing, fighting, torture, revenge, giants, monsters, chases, escapes, true love, miracles..." Perhaps not the monsters, except in human form, and only small giants, but other than that, this book covers all the 'sports'.


There are some subjects that makes a few readers uncomfortable, but all in all, Rafeal Sabatini's The Sea Hawk is now on my favorites list. However, some of my love may be added to the fact that I felt like I knew the main character very well indeed. It is not the first time I have noticed that Arnacin (The Black Phantom Chronicles) could have been written by Sabatini, but of all his characters, Sir Oliver particularly acted in many areas as Arnacin would. There were times I laughed while reading just because Sir Oliver had reacted exactly as the Islander would in a similar circumstance. (No, I never read Sabatini until two years ago, and the Sea Hawk, I've just finished.)


With all that said, I am off to find some good old books and rediscover their value! I would love to journey with a few companions! Fare-thee well and may we discuss books again soon!

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