Title: Gather the Shadowmen - The Lords of the Ocean
Author: Mark M. McMillin
Publisher: Hephaestus Publishing
In the late eighteenth century, the United States of America went to war against England to become a separate entity. War was fought on land and sea. In Mark M. McMillin's trilogy, "Gather the Shadowmen - The Lords of the Ocean," this first in the series novel takes place at the beginning of the American Revolution.
This two hundred and ninety-eight page paperback tome has a silhouette of a captain at the helm of a ship. The story is geared to teens and adults who are not only interested in the American Revolution at sea, but describes in detail the way of life for seamen, smugglers, prisoners, and privateers during the time period. Due to profanity and sexual innuendos and scenes, as written, it would be "R" rated at the movies. There are intentional misspellings, following the language of the era. Many punctuation commas throughout the book are omitted in conversations, causing some reading concerns. At the end, the book includes an informative, interesting chapter on fact verses fiction.
The epic novel is based on Captain Luke Ryan's true adventures as an Irish sailor, a smuggler on the high seas between England, France and Ireland and an American commissioned privateer. The story starts as a tale being told in a New England bar in the late seventeen hundreds, yet the person telling the story is not mentioned again until the tale is concluded at the ending of this book.
In this first of three books, Captain Luke Ryan is a Lieutenant on a British frigate in the North Atlantic who helps capture a French ship and is chosen to escort the seized boat back to England. Once he befriends the French captain, Ryan has ulterior motives and releases the boat to the French instead of returning it to England. He enters the smuggling business and refines a mostly Irish company of sailors who are called "The Shadowmen" that are loyal, dedicated and personable. After acquiring a very fast boat, the crew and boat are captured and imprisoned by Great Britain. Ryan and others sneak the men out of jail, steal back their beloved ship and flee to France to arrange asking Benjamin Franklin to commission them as privateers. Along the way, Ryan falls in love with a partner's daughter in his smuggling trade.
This book is a very interesting read as it sets up the history of the American Revolution based from an overseas standpoint, describing nautical terms along with varied ammunition used and charming Irish camaraderie in a wonderful, detailed fashion. Although the reader is left hanging at the end, the next book is well anticipated to find out what happens next to the Shadowmen of the "Black Prince."