The Ghost Ship by Kate Mosse

If staying up late and reading instead of cleaning the next morning is an indication of how much I wanted to read a book, it might give you a clue as to how much I enjoyed it. It is the third in the Joubert Chronicles and I doubt the last if the ending is anything to go by.

At its heart is a love story between Gilles Barenton, a young wine merchant, and Louise Reydon-Joubert who has come into some money through her father’s estate. Raised by her Grandparents who were Jouberts, she is a restless woman who finds her place aboard ships at sea, quietly owning one herself.

Religion is at the heart of this series – the family being Hugenots and experiencing waves of acceptance by Kings and then being cast out again – it is also here in this book although the main characters have foresaken the Church and both have murdered. In this book, we meet and feel the effects of the Spanish Inquisition. Fortunately, having a ship allows you the means to escape and disappear.

Mosse admits at the start of the book that the likelihood of having a female onboard a ship captaining it is most unlikely but it is an integral part of the story and so I didn’t feel as if it was too fanciful as it added much of the danger and page-turning. These are books that are read for their historical accuracy, and so it is inspired to a degree by two real female pirates: Anne Bonny and Mary Read. Mosse has talked about wanting to put women back into history in their rightful place and this series follows that principle.

It really is a swashbuckling adventure.

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