Ads Banner
Hot Best Seller

The Sea-Hawk, with eBook

Availability: Ready to download

Oliver Tressilian, a Cornish gentleman who helped defeat the Spanish Armada, is betrayed by his jealous half-brother. When the ship he is on is captured by the Spanish, he is made a galley slave. Freed from slavery by Barbary pirates, he joins up with them and becomes a follower of Islam and the scourge of European ships. Taking the name "Sakr-el-Bahr," or "The Hawk of the Oliver Tressilian, a Cornish gentleman who helped defeat the Spanish Armada, is betrayed by his jealous half-brother. When the ship he is on is captured by the Spanish, he is made a galley slave. Freed from slavery by Barbary pirates, he joins up with them and becomes a follower of Islam and the scourge of European ships. Taking the name "Sakr-el-Bahr," or "The Hawk of the Sea," he swears vengeance against his brother. It is this desire for revenge that brings him back to the British shores where he is a wanted man.


Compare
Ads Banner

Oliver Tressilian, a Cornish gentleman who helped defeat the Spanish Armada, is betrayed by his jealous half-brother. When the ship he is on is captured by the Spanish, he is made a galley slave. Freed from slavery by Barbary pirates, he joins up with them and becomes a follower of Islam and the scourge of European ships. Taking the name "Sakr-el-Bahr," or "The Hawk of the Oliver Tressilian, a Cornish gentleman who helped defeat the Spanish Armada, is betrayed by his jealous half-brother. When the ship he is on is captured by the Spanish, he is made a galley slave. Freed from slavery by Barbary pirates, he joins up with them and becomes a follower of Islam and the scourge of European ships. Taking the name "Sakr-el-Bahr," or "The Hawk of the Sea," he swears vengeance against his brother. It is this desire for revenge that brings him back to the British shores where he is a wanted man.

30 review for The Sea-Hawk, with eBook

  1. 5 out of 5

    Nancy

    Rafael Sabatini! Oh, this generation doesn't even KNOW. This is a classic swashbuckling novel by the author of Captain Blood, and it is deliciously over the top. Handsome, powerful Oliver Tressilian, in love with the fair Rosamund, is working to overcome the opposition that Rosamund's sleazy brother and guardian are posing to their marriage. R's brother Peter provokes Oliver into public threats, but Oliver controls himself for love of his fair one; alas, Oliver's weasly brother Lionel kills Pete Rafael Sabatini! Oh, this generation doesn't even KNOW. This is a classic swashbuckling novel by the author of Captain Blood, and it is deliciously over the top. Handsome, powerful Oliver Tressilian, in love with the fair Rosamund, is working to overcome the opposition that Rosamund's sleazy brother and guardian are posing to their marriage. R's brother Peter provokes Oliver into public threats, but Oliver controls himself for love of his fair one; alas, Oliver's weasly brother Lionel kills Peter in a fight over the slut they both are hooking up with. Oliver (because he is THAT GUY) shoulders the blame to protect poor lil Lionel. But Lionel is afraid Oliver will break down and tell, so he has him kidnapped! And sold into slavery! And Oliver, crushed and betrayed, becomes Sakr el-Bahr, the Sea Hawk, scourge of the sea. AND THEN THEY ALL MEET UP AGAIN - Lionel, Oliver, and Rosamund. Oh yeah. *sighs* You know you want to read it. Don't let your sophistication get in the way.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Rachel Teng

    Sabatini seems so far to have a pattern to his writing. His stories stop when the hero has his happy ending and justice has been delivered to his villains, i.e., actual scumbags for whom there is very little sympathy from the reader. In all three books, there is also the woman who misunderstands the hero, the side villain that redeems himself, and the fool of a side character that makes life hard for the hero. The hero is sardonic, honorable, stoic, steadfast, and faces adversity with a barbed t Sabatini seems so far to have a pattern to his writing. His stories stop when the hero has his happy ending and justice has been delivered to his villains, i.e., actual scumbags for whom there is very little sympathy from the reader. In all three books, there is also the woman who misunderstands the hero, the side villain that redeems himself, and the fool of a side character that makes life hard for the hero. The hero is sardonic, honorable, stoic, steadfast, and faces adversity with a barbed tongue, dignity, and cunning resourcefulness. Despite these patterns, I've found that the three books I've read of him thus far have been very different from each other and enjoyable in different ways, and that their heroes, while sharing personality points, are characters that stand on their own without borrowing fromt he others. Even knowing that it will be a good ending doesn't stop me from getting caught up in the tension of the Sea Hawk, for example, and the emotions expounded on by the narrator. You just want to know how the story will unfurl, how Oliver will dodge the bullet, and so on and so forth. I think I could read Sabatini forever, hahaha.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Pranta Ghosh Dastider

    Sometimes roots of all evil lies within mankind, equally as a species. I won't say anything but that, because I try to respect both men and women equally, but ... Well, read the story and you shall understand what I mean. The Sea-Hawk, indeed, was a epic saga. So much story within one book, so many things happened within one fourth of the book, and so many ups and downs altogether... all made me captive with awe. A story told so long ago, yet it remains to be one of its kind. Thus The Sea-Hawk Sometimes roots of all evil lies within mankind, equally as a species. I won't say anything but that, because I try to respect both men and women equally, but ... Well, read the story and you shall understand what I mean. The Sea-Hawk, indeed, was a epic saga. So much story within one book, so many things happened within one fourth of the book, and so many ups and downs altogether... all made me captive with awe. A story told so long ago, yet it remains to be one of its kind. Thus The Sea-Hawk is considered as a classic, independent of time and land. It starts with Oliver, a nobleman, good guy. He tends to his responsibilities well, he respect his love and honor equally. So when love of his life, Rosamund, ignored her, he felt sad and weak. But he never once doubted her love for him, and hoped things will come around once again soon enough. Then conspiracy happens and things go south. From then on, it was one non-stop ride of tragic events towards the end. From beginning to end it was an intriguing story. I remained to the edges for each turn of event took place. Felt sad many times, was afraid of the future that threatened the main protagonist. And talking about evil deeds!! Oh man! there were plenty. I just kept my fingers crossed and hoped for the best until the end. It was a clever storyline, which I am sure author crafted with complete outline before attempting to write. There were many loose strings which gets tied up together nicely enough. There were pirates, attacks, love, hate, friendship, loyalty, conspiracy, tragedy, and much more. This is a story that has the power to keep you entrained, time and time again. [I read a translated version, and to describe in one word, it was a "Flawless" work.]

  4. 4 out of 5

    Ana

    Having already read two of Sabatini's previous works, Captain Blood and Scaramouche, this book was enjoyable but really predictable (view spoiler)[(its hero is a falsely-condemned man who becomes a slave, then a captain who must engage in a constant war of wits against his own supposed allies and eventually overcome empires to win his one true love= recycled plot of "Captain Blood") (hide spoiler)] , aside from the interesting influence of having part if the novel set in a predominately Muslim co Having already read two of Sabatini's previous works, Captain Blood and Scaramouche, this book was enjoyable but really predictable (view spoiler)[(its hero is a falsely-condemned man who becomes a slave, then a captain who must engage in a constant war of wits against his own supposed allies and eventually overcome empires to win his one true love= recycled plot of "Captain Blood") (hide spoiler)] , aside from the interesting influence of having part if the novel set in a predominately Muslim country (view spoiler)[ and the hero not converting back to Christianity at the end (hide spoiler)] .

  5. 4 out of 5

    Dfordoom

    I have a bit of a weakness for swashbuckling tales of adventure, and I think it’s fair to say that the greatest writer of such stories in the English language was Rafael Sabatini (1875-1950). And The Sea Hawk, originally published in 1915, is generally regarded as one of his finest works. Sabatini was born in Italy. His mother was English and from the age of seventeen he made his home in England. All his books were written in English. Like his even more famous Captain Blood which came out in 192 I have a bit of a weakness for swashbuckling tales of adventure, and I think it’s fair to say that the greatest writer of such stories in the English language was Rafael Sabatini (1875-1950). And The Sea Hawk, originally published in 1915, is generally regarded as one of his finest works. Sabatini was born in Italy. His mother was English and from the age of seventeen he made his home in England. All his books were written in English. Like his even more famous Captain Blood which came out in 1922) The Sea Hawk is the story of a reluctant pirate. The Tressilian family has a reputation for hot tempers and for morals that could charitably be described as relaxed. The young Sir Oliver Tressilian certainly shares the family reputation, although in his case it’s a little unfair. He is aware of his tendency to anger quickly and he is trying to curb that weakness. He has an incentive to do so. He is in love with Rosamund Goldolphin. The Godolophins are both neighbours and traditional enemies of the Tressilians and Rosamund’s unstable brother Peter hates Sir Oliver with a passion. Sir Oliver is determined not to be provoked by the impetuous youth. He has sworn to Rosamund that Peter will never meet with harm from him. His good intentions are to no avail. When Peter Godolphin is found dead of a sword thrust the general assumption is that Sir Oliver was his slayer. Even Rosamund believes this. He is in fact innocent, but is trapped between family loyalty and self-interest and is unable to convince her that he is guiltless. And his troubles have only just begun. He is treacherously kidnapped and finds himself at sea, and worse soon follows. The ship is taken by the Spaniards, and this being the late 16th century, the age of Queen Elizabeth, being taken by the Spaniards is very bad news indeed. Particularly in light of the fact that Tressilian has in the past been involved in maritime adventures that the Spanish are inclined to regard as being simple piracy. Tressilian is sentenced to the galleys, but help comes from an unlikely quarter. His galley is captured by Moslem corsairs. Sir Oliver decides that being a Christian hasn’t done him much good and is easily persuaded to adopt the Moslem faith. This proves to be a very good move. Like many another Christian renegade he adapts quickly to life as a Barbary corsair and within a few years is the right-hand man to the Basha of Algiers. Sir Oliver Tressilian is now the famous Moslem corsair Sakr-el-Bahr, the Sea-Hawk. Piracy is a profession for which he has a true gift. He believes he has shaken off his past, but it will come back to haunt him in unexpected ways and he will face some very difficult choices. And of course he will have many adventures on the way. Sir Oliver is a wonderful larger-than-life character. He is a flawed hero, or perhaps an heroic villain, but either way he’s entertaining and likeable. He is in fact a classic swashbuckling hero but with a dark side. Sabatini tells his colourful tale with a great deal of flair. The plot is quite intricate and although it relies rather a lot on coincidence this is one of the conventions of this type of fiction. The lives of heroes are guided by fate, after all. Immense fun, highly recommended.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Gary Hoggatt

    I first came to Rafael Sabatini through his excellent 1922 pirate novel Captain Blood, and then read his fine 1921 swashbuckling tale, Scaramouche. Continuing this journey through Sabatini's novels, I've just completed his 1915 pirate intrigue, The Sea-Hawk. The Sea-Hawk doesn't disappoint, living up exceedingly well to the high standards of Sabatini's other novels. It's got everything - adventure, drama, romance, and exotic locales. There are some elements that echo Sabatini's other stories, bu I first came to Rafael Sabatini through his excellent 1922 pirate novel Captain Blood, and then read his fine 1921 swashbuckling tale, Scaramouche. Continuing this journey through Sabatini's novels, I've just completed his 1915 pirate intrigue, The Sea-Hawk. The Sea-Hawk doesn't disappoint, living up exceedingly well to the high standards of Sabatini's other novels. It's got everything - adventure, drama, romance, and exotic locales. There are some elements that echo Sabatini's other stories, but they're used with a new spin and combined in different ways, so it still seems fresh, and the setting helps with that a great deal as well. Our hero, Sir Oliver Tressilian, lives in England in the late 16th century under the cloud of his deceased father's bad reputation. Like Peter Blood, the titular Captain Blood, he is victim of a great injustice, finds himself enslaved, gains freedom, and becomes a pirate, all while having a complicated relationship with a woman whose political background is a challenge. However, his injustice is of a much more personal nature, and his saga of piracy, love, and redemption doesn't take place in the Caribbean, as Blood's does, but along the Barbary Coast, where Sir Oliver becomes known as Sakr-el-Bahr, the Hawk of the Sea, a feared corsair and major political power in Algiers. The setting and the political intrigue are what really stand out for me with The Sea-Hawk. There are countless tales about piracy in the Caribbean, but the Barbary Coast pirates are often forgotten, despite their effectiveness. Seeing Sir Oliver plunged into the Muslim world of Algiers is fascinating. This is Sabatini at his historical fiction finest. He really immerses you in the culture, the religion, and both the glamour and unpleasant realities of the time and place. It's not just window dressing, either, as important facets of the religion and culture play crucial roles in the plot. There's also some excellent political scheming, as Sakr-el-Bahr is a favorite of the Basha of Algiers, and his conniving wife and jealous son try every trick in the book to turn them against each other. Oh, and the romance? Yeah, that gets caught up in all of this as well. I listened to Tantor's 2001 production of The Sea-Hawk, read by John Bolen. The audio quality was a bit rough, but I believe that's likely a result of the library's e-audio book over-compression, as I haven't noticed it with other Tantor productions. As for Bolen himself, he does excellent work with character voices, but his general narration is oddly a bit flat. Overall, he's perfectly capable. I did find myself wishing that Simon Vance (who also records as Robert Whitfield) had recorded The Sea-Hawk, though, as I've enjoyed his narration on Sabatini's Captain Blood and Scaramouche immensely. The unabridged recording runs approximately eleven hours. I highly recommend The Sea-Hawk. Fans of Sabatini's other work will immediately take to it, as will fans of pirate fiction, historical fiction, political intrigue or stories that take place in exotic locations. The Sea-Hawk has helped cement Sabatini's place as one of my favorite authors.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    Buddy read with Bettie, Hayes (?) and Wanda. Page 75: Sakr-el-Bahr, the hawk of the sea, the scourge of the Mediterranean and the terror of Christian Spain lay prone on the heights of Cape Spartel. This is the story of Oliver Tressilian who became a corsair since he was wrongly accused by this own brother of the murder of Master Peter Godolphin. He then became a Barbary pirate after have spent a long time a galley slave. Lady Rosamund Godolphin, his girlfriend, didn't trust him at the first time an Buddy read with Bettie, Hayes (?) and Wanda. Page 75: Sakr-el-Bahr, the hawk of the sea, the scourge of the Mediterranean and the terror of Christian Spain lay prone on the heights of Cape Spartel. This is the story of Oliver Tressilian who became a corsair since he was wrongly accused by this own brother of the murder of Master Peter Godolphin. He then became a Barbary pirate after have spent a long time a galley slave. Lady Rosamund Godolphin, his girlfriend, didn't trust him at the first time and believed at his treasonous brother. But their lives will cross again and the truth shall prevail. The original movie Sea-Hawk (1924) was based on this book. However, the story is completely different from the Errol Flynn movie Sea-Hawk (1940).

  8. 5 out of 5

    Mina Soare

    'Tis a wonder that one so cunning could have a brother so stupid. In the end this book has an original star-point for Oliver's character - that is, for his wit, his intelligence and cunning, pretty great character building. One point for a natural-ish plot, it didn't seem forced to me, and there was no other way clear to me that could have spared the characters the grief. One point for the other stupid characters that were there to compensate for Oliver. In faith, if not for that Harry, I would ha 'Tis a wonder that one so cunning could have a brother so stupid. In the end this book has an original star-point for Oliver's character - that is, for his wit, his intelligence and cunning, pretty great character building. One point for a natural-ish plot, it didn't seem forced to me, and there was no other way clear to me that could have spared the characters the grief. One point for the other stupid characters that were there to compensate for Oliver. In faith, if not for that Harry, I would have given up hope, even Rosamund. There is a pride next to a natural evil that is the like of her brother's that bade her think a man beneath her and condemn him and his last attempt to reach out. One more point because this book deserves a 4 and I'm lazy

  9. 4 out of 5

    John

    Rafael Sabatini is fast becoming one of my favorite authors. The Sea Hawk is the 2nd book I've read of his and it's already one of my favorite books of all time. I look forward to reading many more of his work!

  10. 4 out of 5

    David

    It's been quite a while since I saw the Errol Flynn movie that I remember very little beyond the galley slaves rowing and Erich Wolfgang Korngold's memorable score, but I would be willing to bet on my fleeting memory that the film was considerably different than this book, and that's not a bad thing. The film is enjoyable for its time, but the book stands strong as an adventure. The idea of Christian Englishman with a sordid past being abducted and finding his way to becoming a Muslim pirate leg It's been quite a while since I saw the Errol Flynn movie that I remember very little beyond the galley slaves rowing and Erich Wolfgang Korngold's memorable score, but I would be willing to bet on my fleeting memory that the film was considerably different than this book, and that's not a bad thing. The film is enjoyable for its time, but the book stands strong as an adventure. The idea of Christian Englishman with a sordid past being abducted and finding his way to becoming a Muslim pirate legend seems like a radical plot for its time. There are many intense scenes throughout, and I don't just mean action. When he gets to prove his innocence to his former fiancee who believed the accusations that he was a murderer, while reconciliation is certainly to be expected in a novel of this type and time, it does not come easily. In fact, the venom spoken between the two is cold and biting. A bit melodramatic in places, but not nearly as much as I was expecting. This was an excellent adventure novel.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Denise

    Sir Oliver Tressilian, a Cornish gentleman, finds refuge in the Middle East after his half-brother's betrayal almost gets him sold into slavery. There, he converts to Islam and joins the ranks of the Barbary pirates, building a fearsome reputation as Sakr-el-Bahr, the Sea-Hawk, and awaiting his opportunity to take revenge for the fate that has been visited upon him. Much as I enjoy a good swashbuckling tale and pirate adventure, this one was just a little too full of unlikable characters and over Sir Oliver Tressilian, a Cornish gentleman, finds refuge in the Middle East after his half-brother's betrayal almost gets him sold into slavery. There, he converts to Islam and joins the ranks of the Barbary pirates, building a fearsome reputation as Sakr-el-Bahr, the Sea-Hawk, and awaiting his opportunity to take revenge for the fate that has been visited upon him. Much as I enjoy a good swashbuckling tale and pirate adventure, this one was just a little too full of unlikable characters and over the top melodrama for me... and frankly, that judgmental bitch Rosamund really wasn't worth all the trouble people went to because of her.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Noor Jahangir

    Sir Oliver Tressilian is the elder son of a man remembered by people as a foul-tempered despot and some of that bias has passed on to his son. Sir Oliver has paid of his father's debts and made his fortune by privateering in the name of the Queen, piracy by a gentler name. Now he is in love with Lady Godolophin, who has had a gentling effect on his troubled soul. But all is not well, for Lady Godolophin's borther, Peter, intensely dislikes Oliver due to their Guardian's dislike of the man, a gru Sir Oliver Tressilian is the elder son of a man remembered by people as a foul-tempered despot and some of that bias has passed on to his son. Sir Oliver has paid of his father's debts and made his fortune by privateering in the name of the Queen, piracy by a gentler name. Now he is in love with Lady Godolophin, who has had a gentling effect on his troubled soul. But all is not well, for Lady Godolophin's borther, Peter, intensely dislikes Oliver due to their Guardian's dislike of the man, a grudge his father held against Oliver's father and the fact that he is amorously involved with a harlot with whom Oliver's brother, Lionel is also involved with. Lionel kills a somewhat drunk Peter, in a fight over the strumpet in a duel, but without witnesses, he is afraid of being called a murder. Oliver loves his brother dearly so he gives his word not to reveal Lionel, even though people begin to suspect Oliver himself, even the Lady he loves. Slowly the countryside turns against Oliver, but the biggest betrayal comes from Lionel himself, whose cowardly mind projects his own deficient scruples onto his brother, framing him and arranging for him to be trepanned, kidnapped and sold into slavery to the Barbary Coast. Oliver is kidnapped by an old aquaintence who seeks to reveal to Oliver the betrayal of his brother, at a profit to himself, but his ship is overtaken by a Spanish galleon and sunk. The captain and Oliver are pressed into slavery, manning an oar on a Spanish ship, until Oliver's humanity is almost completely stripped from him. He is liberated by the chief of the Barbary corsairs, Asad. Oliver, in contempt of the way he has been treated by his Christian brethern and Lady Godolphin, converts to Islam and becomes one of Asad's lieutenants, carving a legend from his vengeance against the Spaniards and any other Christian ship that he happened up. His followers give him the name Sakr-ul-Bahr, the Sea-Hawk. Oliver is infamous across the Chrisitan world, and lauded the greatest sword of Islam in the Muslim world. He is rich beyond any man's desires, commands a fleet of ships and is beloved as a son to Governor Asad. But his own rage agains this brother and former love, coupled with the conspiring wife and son of the Governor, everything begins to fall apart. This book is written with a decent amount of research, but in parts is inaccurate in regards to Islam, perhaps based on the fact that Sabbatini only had access to Orientalist material. Despite this biased starting point, i.e. overly obsessed with fabled riches, hareems, colourful garments and slavery, Sabbatini does well to rise above the misinformation. A few points that I would like to clear up is that the treatment of slaves seems at odds with Islamic laws that compell the owners of slaves to treat them as if they were members of the family and the fact the freeing slaves was considered the greatest act of charity, the overall aim becoming then to abolish slavery by making it untenable. But profiteering of slavery seems to have overpowered these values, and the lot of galley slaves was the most abominable, both by Christians and Muslis. Also the ill-treatment of women, especially wives, goes against what is taught by Islam. Thirdly, and perhaps most importantly, Sabbatini's understanding of Islam seems to model it on Christianity, giving Mohamet (the Prophet Muhammad) almost a similar status as Jesus holds in Christianity. The Prophet Muhammad was very clear in his instructions that he is only a man that has been sent as a Messenger from God, albiet the last of all Prophets. Despite my misgivings of these details, important details from a historical point of view, they have little bearing on the actual plot. The story is well-written as is to be expected from the author of Captian Blood and Scaramouche. As a character, I prefer the genius and gentlemany ways of Captain Blood to the vindictive Sir Oliver Tressalian, but I feel that the story-telling itself and the structure of the novel, the Sea Hawk, is superior to Captian Blood and its sequels. Again, this is a must for Sabbatini fans, those who enjoy a good adventure story and fantasy readers too. A thoroughly good read.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Kevin Brandon

    Ahhhh so fun. I think Scaramouche may have been a better book, but I liked this one more. That's saying something because the Scaramouche audiobook was narrated by the wonderful Simon Vance, where this book was narrated by perhaps my least favorite narrator John Bolen.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Jim

    I saw the Errol Flynn film based on this novel many years ago, and along with Captain Blood and Scaramouche, it made me curious to read the works of Sabatini--for starters, one of the great names in literary history. Doesn't it just fall trippingly from the tongue? So I got The Sea-Hawk from the library, and read it . . . and discovered that the film and the novel are not really that similar. This should not have shocked me. It is certainly not the first time a film has been very different from t I saw the Errol Flynn film based on this novel many years ago, and along with Captain Blood and Scaramouche, it made me curious to read the works of Sabatini--for starters, one of the great names in literary history. Doesn't it just fall trippingly from the tongue? So I got The Sea-Hawk from the library, and read it . . . and discovered that the film and the novel are not really that similar. This should not have shocked me. It is certainly not the first time a film has been very different from the source material upon which it is based. And once I read the book I was not disappointed. As a matter of fact, I could almost hear the strains of the film's soundtrack by Erich Wolfgang Korngold as I read. The big difference between the film and the novel is that the story of the film is essentially all contained in a note that precedes the novel itself. The name of the protagonist is changed (from Oliver Tressilian in the novel to Geoffrey Thorpe in the film, but the biggest change is that in the film the protagonist helps thwart the Spanish Armada, whereas in the novel, that happens before the opening pages of the story. Everything in the novel occurs after he has done that, and has settled in his family estate in Cornwall. There are, of course, other changes in the story, but as you can imagine, that was a surprise. Nonetheless, this is a marvelous swashbuckler, with Sir Oliver forced by a series of unfortunate circumstances to leave Cornwall and become a corsair for the Basha of Algiers. Only after he has done this for around five years does he finally get a chance to reclaim his birthright and marry the woman he loves. There is a lot that happens between the start and finish, a lot of trouble for him, his beloved Rosamund and the Basha . . . not to mention the Basha's Sicilian wife and not-so-great son, both of whom harbor resentment against Sir Oliver, who is the best captain the Basha has in his corps of corsairs. The language is somewhat archaic, but that in no way hampered my enjoyment of the tale. For the most part it raced along, with enough emotional insight and political savvy to make me feel as if I knew just how Sir Oliver and his cohort felt about their adventures, whether they were suffering as slave oarsmen on a Spanish galleon, raiding other ships, maneuvering in Algiers with the Basha and his family, or trying to make things work out in Cornwall. It also has a sense of humor, and a dashing, rousing feel that I found to be fun and contemporary, no matter the fact that Sabatini wrote this in 1915 and it's set in the late 16th century. I'm sure that there are those who might not feel as I do about this book. There is language that simply isn't used in contemporary novels. And yet, I felt it was not a problem, because the characters, plot and action carried me along regardless.

  15. 5 out of 5

    John Beach

    This is a more difficult Sabatini historical fiction to get into, I think, because none of the main characters are exactly… well, likable. We see some good character traits in the main character, like fidelity, but we also see him spending much of his time seeking vengeance and dreaming up punishments to exact his revenge. Like most of Sabatini's swashbuckling heroes, Sir Oliver Tressilian/The Sea Hawk/Sakr-el-Bahr is very capable, strong, daring—arrogant, but he comes off much more gruff, short- This is a more difficult Sabatini historical fiction to get into, I think, because none of the main characters are exactly… well, likable. We see some good character traits in the main character, like fidelity, but we also see him spending much of his time seeking vengeance and dreaming up punishments to exact his revenge. Like most of Sabatini's swashbuckling heroes, Sir Oliver Tressilian/The Sea Hawk/Sakr-el-Bahr is very capable, strong, daring—arrogant, but he comes off much more gruff, short-tempered, and mean-spirited. The reader can "deal with him" since all of the other characters around him ARE WORSE. And you want Oliver to succeed mainly because so many people are working against him. But this includes Oliver, too. He is his own worst enemy, and he manages to complicate his own life from bad to ridiculously far worse. What I liked best about this novel is that the dangers seemed more real than in Captain Blood, Scaramouche, the Tavern Knight, etc. And I think that's due to how masterfully Sabatini set up his scenes in Algiers, where pretty much anybody at any time for just about any reason can become a slave, and where the will of one person can count for everything. All-in-all, there's probably a little too much character misunderstanding of motives in this one (with characters sometimes having years to think some things through and yet not actually seeming to do so), some lucky coincidence, and so on. Not a lot of surprises, but a real sense of wanting to read on until the characters were out of peril.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Donna

    Sir Oliver Tressilian is a wealthy landowner who plans to marry his beautiful neighbor, Rosamund. But after Rosamund's brother is murdered, not even she believes he's innocent of the crime. Before he can clear his name, his brother betrays him into slavery, where a chance encounter propels him into the ranks of the Barbary pirates. Five years later, he's Sakr-El-Bahr, the Sea Hawk, and he decides that it's time to use his new position to settle old scores. Sir Oliver is more difficult to like tha Sir Oliver Tressilian is a wealthy landowner who plans to marry his beautiful neighbor, Rosamund. But after Rosamund's brother is murdered, not even she believes he's innocent of the crime. Before he can clear his name, his brother betrays him into slavery, where a chance encounter propels him into the ranks of the Barbary pirates. Five years later, he's Sakr-El-Bahr, the Sea Hawk, and he decides that it's time to use his new position to settle old scores. Sir Oliver is more difficult to like than the heroes of the other Sabatini books I've read. He's harsher, and he's thrived in a nearly merciless environment. He would never have ended up a pirate and a slaver of his own volition, but once he seized on that path as a means of survival, then he was going to be good at it. The book is exposition-heavy at times, though it has some really great moments. Things pick up a lot once a connection with his past starts to thaw Oliver up a little, and then he becomes a more traditional dreamy adventure hero whose main flaw is that he's just too damned honorable for words. After that point, my biggest problem with the book was that the heroine didn't deserve him. It could partly be because she was more of a generic thing to protect than a character in her own right, but nearly every conversation she had with Oliver left me wanting to smack her one. I still enjoyed this one a lot.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Julie Davis

    Rafael Sabatini's Captain Blood is a story I've enjoyed in the past but it never prompted me to explore his other novels. This is, apparently, the time for exploration. It began with noticing this title which matches my favorite Errol Flynn movie. Turns out the title is about all they took from the book, if indeed the book was at all involved. This is a much better tale, one of a family feud, betrayed brotherhood, and love gone awry which results in galley slavery, more than a flirtation with Isl Rafael Sabatini's Captain Blood is a story I've enjoyed in the past but it never prompted me to explore his other novels. This is, apparently, the time for exploration. It began with noticing this title which matches my favorite Errol Flynn movie. Turns out the title is about all they took from the book, if indeed the book was at all involved. This is a much better tale, one of a family feud, betrayed brotherhood, and love gone awry which results in galley slavery, more than a flirtation with Islam, and every exotic story device that can be imagined. It all works. In a bit of an over-the-top sort of way, but I was hanging on every chapter, reading breathlessly to see what happened next. What makes the story even better is that Sabatini evidently was scrupulous in being historically exact. Yes, Lord Oliver existed and did those things. Now, that didn't keep Sabatini from inventing and exaggerating to give us this swashbuckler. And I'm ok with that. I'm not reading these for the history, though that doesn't hurt it a bit.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Helen

    Fun. Another reviewer described it as escapist, and it is. Duels, kidnapping, treachery, betrayal, vengeance, love . . . it's all there. The language seems deliberately old-fashioned but it's still easy to understand. Sabatini even tries to get into the characters' heads and presents them as individuals with choices rather than cardboard figures he can move at will. My biggest problem is that he describes the slavery the Algerian Muslim pirates practice as more picturesque than an abomination. H Fun. Another reviewer described it as escapist, and it is. Duels, kidnapping, treachery, betrayal, vengeance, love . . . it's all there. The language seems deliberately old-fashioned but it's still easy to understand. Sabatini even tries to get into the characters' heads and presents them as individuals with choices rather than cardboard figures he can move at will. My biggest problem is that he describes the slavery the Algerian Muslim pirates practice as more picturesque than an abomination. He seems to like describing the slave bazaar, for example, because it's brightly-colored and interesting in its variations of social hierarchy. I found it abhorrent and found it difficult to want a happy ending for the hero who seizes ships and sells people into slavery. Certainly he has reason enough to turn his back on Christianity and his country but they don't justify falling that far. He realizes the error of his ways, but the ending is a little too pat and he doesn't fully make up for the evil that he's done.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Remus

    My least favorite of Sabatini's so far. I don't understand why this is one of the most popular of his works. If you are expecting much in the form of action and adventure you will be disappointed. The "Part One" of the novel kept my interest but after that first ship battle it really slowed down. The book was too long for how uneventful it was and yet the ending was too sudden. The setting is quite exotic and vivid and one chapter: "The Slave-Market" although it does seem to deviate from the mai My least favorite of Sabatini's so far. I don't understand why this is one of the most popular of his works. If you are expecting much in the form of action and adventure you will be disappointed. The "Part One" of the novel kept my interest but after that first ship battle it really slowed down. The book was too long for how uneventful it was and yet the ending was too sudden. The setting is quite exotic and vivid and one chapter: "The Slave-Market" although it does seem to deviate from the main plot it really immerses you in the culture of Algiers which I enjoyed as well as the side story of the rivalry between the Basha's Wazeer and his wife's Eunuch at the Sôk-el-Abeed with it's many colourful and diverse characters described there, makes you care more for the brave but short lived Andalusian maid than the week and gloomy Rosamund who we the readers are supposed to be sympathizing with.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Wade

    I am so glad that initially took the Goodreads recommendation to read Scaramouche (also by Savatini), since I loved that I picked up Captain Blood, another big winner, and now Sea-Hawk. This book was a fast paced swashbuckler that seemed to me what you would get if you combined Captain Blood with Ben-Hur, then added a dash of Laurence of Arabia. The story was well done and quite intriguing, the characters developed well and were relatable, and as I've already stated, the pace kept me on the edge I am so glad that initially took the Goodreads recommendation to read Scaramouche (also by Savatini), since I loved that I picked up Captain Blood, another big winner, and now Sea-Hawk. This book was a fast paced swashbuckler that seemed to me what you would get if you combined Captain Blood with Ben-Hur, then added a dash of Laurence of Arabia. The story was well done and quite intriguing, the characters developed well and were relatable, and as I've already stated, the pace kept me on the edge of my seat for much of the book. This book deals with the consequences of jumping to conclusions (and consequently the importance of withholding absolute judgment innhaste) as well as displaying the plasticity of man. While I quite enjoyed this book and would definitely recommend it, as a swashbuckler I'd recommend Captain Blood first, and as a Sabatini I'd recommend Scaramouche first.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Travis

    Classic bit of swashbuckling, high seas adventure as a young nobleman is framed for a crime and, fleeing England, ends up as a corsair in a middle-eastern rulers fleet. Fun, as it is not the typical pirate story setting and enough adventure that you can live with all the cliches of the genre. The book was a surprise, because in the movie, the Sea Hawk is very typical english pirate. In the book he's more 'Lawrence of Arabia'.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Penelope Marzec

    Sir Oliver Tressilian is wronged by his half-brother, Lionel. Kidnapped, Oliver survives slavery at the oar of a Spanish ship and becomes a Muslim pirate. Feared and respected, Oliver becomes Sakr-El-Bahr. When an unexpected chance comes along for him to wreak vengeance upon Lionel, he sets out for England. However, in seeking to settle the score, he puts his own life in grave danger.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Tara

    one of the best stories, interesting and full of adventures ;)

  24. 5 out of 5

    Suzannah

    Ahahahaha. Cheesier than I remember, but fun. Will have to review this properly soon. ;)

  25. 5 out of 5

    James

    Listened to podcast at Librivox.org (http://is.gd/9GfJ). Interesting view of Islam by the Italian author in 1915.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Fran Fletcher

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Gosh, the swashbuckling adventure is finally over. I have very mixed feelings about this book. Sometimes I found it quite suspenseful, but much of the time I just wanted it to hurry up and end. The story didn't inspire any strong feelings in me until right up to the very last few pages when it was suddenly very tragic, so I'm glad I finished it. But I have to say, and I do get that it's a product of its time (published 1915 I think), but still have to say that I absolutely could not stand Rosamu Gosh, the swashbuckling adventure is finally over. I have very mixed feelings about this book. Sometimes I found it quite suspenseful, but much of the time I just wanted it to hurry up and end. The story didn't inspire any strong feelings in me until right up to the very last few pages when it was suddenly very tragic, so I'm glad I finished it. But I have to say, and I do get that it's a product of its time (published 1915 I think), but still have to say that I absolutely could not stand Rosamund, who probably ruined the whole thing for me. Probably I'm not the first to say this. Very typically, this character's only redeeming quality (I don't even want to call it that, since beauty is something a person is just born with out of luck, not something they have learnt or achieved) is that she is beautiful, so beautiful that the key male characters in the story are willing to risk absolute anything to have her, despite the fact that personality wise, she is completely dull and slow witted. Yes, she manages to redeem herself at the very end, but I can't forgive her extreme presumptuousness and what Sabatini calls her unfaithfulness to Oliver, and her almost violent self righteousness. Ugh, just thinking about her is annoying. The story was slightly reminiscent of, and very inferior to, James Clavell's modern work Shogun - one of my absolute favourite novels - which is far superior particularly in terms of characterisation.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Cyrano

    I read Captain Blood back to back with Sea Hawk, and there were enough similarities between them (and Scaramouche, which I read a while back) that I'm writing the same review for both of them. The scenery is completely difficult, and I'm pretty sure Sabatini did his research, but the plots trace the same path. You start with a good man of means; either here or somewhere down the line he meets his true love; he is undeservedly betrayed when another party lays shame and guilt at his door step; he I read Captain Blood back to back with Sea Hawk, and there were enough similarities between them (and Scaramouche, which I read a while back) that I'm writing the same review for both of them. The scenery is completely difficult, and I'm pretty sure Sabatini did his research, but the plots trace the same path. You start with a good man of means; either here or somewhere down the line he meets his true love; he is undeservedly betrayed when another party lays shame and guilt at his door step; he then flees to the French countryside, Algiers, or the Caribbean; he escapes from the bondage his dire straits have put him in; he becomes a legend in his shady subculture; he is exonerated, by the power of love or by happenstance; he is reunited with his true love and his old life. Now, these are not bad stories, they just have certain themes that eventually you notice. He's writing at the beginning of the 20th century, and there's racist sexist and classist stereotypes, but they're at least better than other authors writing at the time. So it's simultaneously discomforting and encouraging. He presents his ripping yarns with beautiful descriptive passages, and you never feel bogged down in the story while nothing happens. It's no surprise that classic Hollywood loves his books.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Ernest Godfrey

    Fantastic Ok so the English is old fashioned lots of desist sir and bounder and the characters are old fashioned in the the hero can be described fairly as stiff upper lip and playing with a straight bat. The heroine swoons from time to time and demands her hero behaves as a proper gentleman. The attitudes belong to a feudal age but for all that it is written with style and feeling. The author who is from that age captures all the necessary important dialogue that seems tiresome at times but in r Fantastic Ok so the English is old fashioned lots of desist sir and bounder and the characters are old fashioned in the the hero can be described fairly as stiff upper lip and playing with a straight bat. The heroine swoons from time to time and demands her hero behaves as a proper gentleman. The attitudes belong to a feudal age but for all that it is written with style and feeling. The author who is from that age captures all the necessary important dialogue that seems tiresome at times but in reflection is so necessary to give the book it's flavour. I absolutely loved it. Not sure I want to read another by the author for a while but so glad I read this one. A true classic and it has been my pleasure to lose a few days in its telling.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Linda Mock

    The summary given of the book here (by Goodreads?) is inaccurate, but mainly it is woefully inadequate in relating what a wonderful book this is. I just finished it, for the third time, and I loved it at least as much as the previous readings. Do you like pirates? Romance, lost and rediscovered? Treachery exposed? A tale driven by high testosterone levels, but civilized testosterone, which isn't to say feminized testosterone of the variety we get today? A profound mastery of the English language? The summary given of the book here (by Goodreads?) is inaccurate, but mainly it is woefully inadequate in relating what a wonderful book this is. I just finished it, for the third time, and I loved it at least as much as the previous readings. Do you like pirates? Romance, lost and rediscovered? Treachery exposed? A tale driven by high testosterone levels, but civilized testosterone, which isn't to say feminized testosterone of the variety we get today? A profound mastery of the English language? Well then, this book might be for you. It certainly is for us ~

  30. 4 out of 5

    Bert

    I listened to this from Librivox recording. It had multiple narrators, but each did wonderful job. This story is VERY slow to start, but once the abduction occurs the story kicks into the rollicking style one expects from Rafael Sabatini. Likewise, Rosamund is my least favorite heroine. So though i thoroughly recommend this story. My favorites remain Captain Blood and Scaramouche.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.