After the death of his mother, rumored to be a seal (a selkie), during The Golden Age of Piracy, thirteen-year-old William is shipped out of his home in the Orkneys on a privateer, escaping the British. William uses his uncanny sense of direction to navigate through complex channels and sea lanes.
A mysterious dark sorcerer of the sea, a finman, unseen, follows the ship in a kayak, able to cross vast seas with three “thwarts” (strokes) of a paddle, now and then opening the bag of winds around his neck to blow William through time and space to learn a mastery of sea and men. He ships out with the most famous pirates of history and falls in love with Anne Bonnie, the most notorious woman pirate of the age and so begins to catch up to her in age. It’s a huge “Tom Jones” of a novel, filled with charm and comedy, as well as violence and lore of the sea, and mystery: what is the finman’s ultimate objective. Who is Master William, really. The book was five years in the making. It won first place in fiction at the Virginia Writer’s Conference.
Available through Rolling Olive Press.