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Pirates of the Narrow Seas 1 : The Sallee Rovers (Pirates of the Narrow Seas #1)

3.76 of 5 stars 3.76  ·  rating details  ·  157 ratings  ·  36 reviews
"Pirates of the Narrow Seas was a dashing good tale full of adventure and mayhem"-Sage Whistler, author of 'Broken' Lt. Peter Thorton of the 18th century British navy must struggle to come out gay while surviving storms at sea, ship to ship battles, duels, kidnapping, and more in his quest for true love and honor. Pirates of the Narrow Seas is an expertly crafted swashbuck ...more
Paperback, 280 pages
Published 2011 by Keibooks (first published 2010)
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(showing 1-30 of 811)
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As I posted before in my status update, I consider Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World the ultimate chick flick. It's also one of the slashiest films ever made and it amazes me that so few women who like M/M romance never quite figured that out. I'm also a huge fan of the Horatio Hornblower series (both the novels and the television series--that delectable Ioan Gryffyd, yum!). Which is why I was thrilled to have finally found this series in e-book format and it has been worth the wai ...more
M. Kei
Not a review: Author commentary

I'm a fan of nautical fiction and got tired of the mainstream novels without gay characters, or, when they did, setting them up as nasty little incompetent minor characters whose sole reason for existence was to get knocked down by the big manly straight hero. A couple of years ago, I got disgusted and said, "I'm a writer. I'll write one for my own amusement." It snowballed from there.

I started off with the standard formula of the genre: we meet our hero. He gets h
Andy Eisenberg
I loaded the The Sallee Rovers on my iPad for my flight back from the West coast and, whether seat-belted in or not, I was glued to my seat by the riveting story. It was wonderfully entertaining and interesting.

The Sallee Rovers, after detailed beginning, is a fast-paced story with wonderfully real characters. They react naturally to the events around them and I was never thrown out of the story by any of them doing something that didn't fit what we knew about them up to that point. That's not
Sorry to say this one tanked. It started out very good with a compelling story and strong characters, although the way the character interactions were written was way inferior to the descriptions and the action scenes. Those were excellent, so it was grating to see how clunky things got as soon as people started talking. So when the book went from mostly action to more internal stuff it really lost something. As interesting as the characters were, they were written without any emotional depth. T ...more
rating: 3/5

I liked the historical detail and accuracy, the look at nautical life was drawn brilliantly and vividly; I've never read such detail in fiction before, and written in such a fascinating way.

I also found the plot compelling, it was interesting with twists and turns. I know the author took some liberties with history, but the changes were minor and done with a purpose since the author clearly knows the time period. I liked how he included so much depth in his descriptions, even down to
I’ve not read an ‘Age of Sail’ historical before, but I do have a deep and abiding love of Pirates of the Caribbean. When I saw this had a similar theme – that of charismatic pirates, uptight naval officers, fighting and other assorted high-jinks on the ocean, I thought I’d give it a go and see what I thought. In the end this was a mixed read, for reasons I shall explain.

Peter Thorton (which for some reason I kept reading as Thornton), is a relatively new Lieutenant in the British Navy. He’s thr
This book is what it promises to be: an (extremely) detailed boat book, in the vein of Patrick O'Brian or C.S. Forester, but where the main characters is gay. It is absolutely that. And I was absolutely enthralled reading it; stayed up all night to finish it, etc. -- I even planned to rate it 5 stars, in fact, which I almost never do, until about 75% of the way through.

But then the main character began to behave so irrationally out of character, as he had been portrayed up until then, that it re

Hmm, an interesting story but I'm not sure whether I can say I really enjoyed it. It is fairly well written, though I found the pacing a bit uneven at times. It certainly seems well-researched with solid descriptions of the various kinds of ships, as well as the cruelty of the English navy. It is the human interactions that I found less than satisfactory really, and that probably is due to personal taste. Peter was not a character I am drawn to and his vacillating responses annoyed me at times.
Desmian Trog
I never thought that a book in a completely different section of preference to my normal ones would ever muscle ahead of most of my favorite texts and plant itself so firmly and so highly in my list of favorite books. Although I should have known, really. All it takes is a good set of characters. No. A great set of characters. Not that the rest of the book is a slouch by any means. From the depths of the descriptions to the pacing of scenes, lines and paragraphs to the momentum of the book itsel ...more
It is a thoroughly enjoyable read, though I was slowed down because I wasn't familiar with most of the sailing terms (or even a ship's parts!). But after getting used to it, it was fine, though I think I would have to reread the book again sometime in the future. For those with sailing experience or familiar with the technical terms, they would probably enjoy it more.

I felt that the last part of the book (where Peter falls in love) was a bit rushed, but I expect it to be covered more in the next
Rick Spilman
Pirates of the Narrow Sea, Book 1 – Sallee Rovers by M. Kei
The novel is not set during the Napoleonic wars and features, as the title suggests, Sallee Rovers, Barbary Coast corsairs, sailing from the Atlantic coast of what is now Morocco. In this novel the Spanish are the villains while British are not necessarily the heroes. The corsairs are the somewhat more heroic of the novel’s contending forces. The main character is a young, British officer, Lt. Peter Thorton, who for a range of reasons, b
Gerry Burnie
The Sallee Rovers by M. Kei [Bristlecone Pine Press, 2010] is the first of the Pirates of the Narrow Seas trilogy and, according to his bio, the author is not only an experienced sailor, but has also experienced many of the risks and challenges described in the story. He can therefore rightfully claim his status as an authority. Having said that, I must admit that I wouldn’t know the difference between a marlinspike and a hat pin. Nevertheless, when the discussion got tactical I had no difficult ...more
Elisa Rolle
As usual when I read an historical novel I try to judge it more for the feeling it left me than for the details accuracy. Truth, if the author did a lot of mistakes, I really can’t enjoy it. I think M. Kei is pretty accurate in his description even if, in my historical ignorance, I really am not able to put a precise date for the events: it’s a period in which France and England are not at war between each other, it’s a period when the Sallee Republic was at war with Spain (I for example had to ...more
This was really well written, finely detailed and a ton of fun. It had the right amount of everything - drama, tension, thrills, action, angst and romance. The characters were great - likeable and believable. People's choices were believable. Everything was just skillfully handled. I wish I'd bought this in analog because I think it might be something I'd want on my bookshelf just so I could read again and again, and honestly, that's saying something.

My single issue with this story was that the
Some notes while I read --

The prose style is somewhat ornate and old-fashioned -- as befits the historical period -- but also a bit humorous and approachable. The naval terminology does get a bit dense at times -- as when the narrator says of a ship: "She was small and old-fashioned with a lateen mizzen brailed up to her shebeck yard, but she had triangular headsails. Her sails were all taken in, but she had the yards for courses, topsails, and topgallants. Her lines were low and fine." Alllllll
I enjoyed this immensely, reading the bulk of it in a single sitting. The plot felt well-structured, with one exciting action sequence leading plausibly into the next, and the protagonist’s outlook (and especially his eventual fate) felt very original. I’m no judge of historical accuracy/period detail - some situations or lines of dialogue seemed startlingly anachronistic, but I consider this to be one of the book’s strengths - the author is laudably unafraid to surprise the reader, and has an i ...more
Pia Veleno
This is not a romance. I found it on the M/M Romance group book shelf, but it is not even close. Still, I kept reading after realizing this because I do like many genres.

This story had too much detail for me. I didn't need to know that everything down to the uniform buttons were historically accurate. I wouldn't know if they weren't anyway. The heavy nautical descriptions slowed down battles that seemed interesting, but languid in their wordiness.

Capt. Tangle and Lt. Thornton were interesting c
Nan Hawthorne
Imagine a novel about life on a tall ship during the age of the corsairs, privateers and pirates written by someone who has sailed as part of the crew of such a ship. That is exactly what you have with the Pirates of the Narrow Seas series. I don't see how you could be more thoroughly immersed in the time and the reality of such a life. The author, M. Kei, knows not only the terminology but has faced many of the challenges and dangers his characters do. The result is exciting, captivating, rich ...more
Excellently written and a great page-turner! The author calls this a 'period novel' rather than a historical which was a little bit of a disappointment, since it leaves me unsure what I can rely on as well-researched and what is pure invention. Still, the fact that the author is a tall-ship captain himself gives me a wealth of detail to add to my own limited experience on a historical vessel. The characters are very well drawn and interesting and the homosexual love scenes done beautifully, so t ...more
One of the most boring books I have ever forced myself to finish. There were way too many technical terms I did not know and were not necessary to have in the book. FAR too many battle descriptions bogged down the story. As other reviewers have said, I skipped large passages of text in order to get back to the actual story. This was suggested to me by the Goodreads website as an M/M romance and there was almost no romance at all. One thing I did like was that Peter did not end up with Isam. I ke ...more
I am still strugling to finish the book, on and off. I am overvelmed by terminology and switching of POV. The plot is good, a lot of action but not a lot of actual romance. Will see...
Amazing advanture romance book. I read it twice and can't wait to read the sequels.
Lt. Peter Thorton, serving in His Majesty's Navy aboard the frigate Ajax, must not only serve under an overbearing captain who finds fault in all actions, but must also hide his homosexuality and crush on his best mate fellow Lt. Roger Perry. But, one stormy day at sea in the midst of helping a sinking Spanish galley Thorton finds himself in the precarious position of upholding orders or his integrity as a human being. Thus he finds himself under the command of Captain Tangle, former Captain of ...more
SlashReader: This will teach me once again not to rely on a lot of good ratings on Amazon to get a good book. While I knew this, I still once and a while end up falling for it. I had high hopes for this book based on the blurb, the reviews and the fact that the cover lacked a sex, Photoshop image or bad CGI graphic on it. Unfortunately it was not to be.

I will say this, M. Kei knows what he's talking about. His writing is not bad per-say my biggest issue came with the characters themselves not wi
I am not really sure what my feelings for this book are. I do know that this book reminded me of hoffmans Brethren and while it reminded me of it because of the nautical theme it pretty much couldn't compete with it. Maybe if I had read this book first I wouldn't have been so disappointed with it or as critical. But alas I found this to be a mediocre book. there were a lot of times where I felt like the description got in the way of the flow of the story and also a lot of abrupt things that left ...more
Britt Smith
Two things:

1) WAY WAY WAY crazy amount of detail about nautical ships. To the point that it felt inaccessible to the reader. I had to skip entire paragraphs and pages because the jargon was too much for me to handle.

2) A tickle fight? Really? Otherwise the romantic buildup was fairly nice and modestly believable.

For the rest of it:

An an enjoyable story with a few plot moments that make you say "really? i'm supposed to just go with you on this one?" but otherwise again it was a fairly nice roman
Gorgeously detailed about the sailing and battles in particular, but really everything. Captain Bishop's instant dislike and prejudice against Peter, perfect, really. But in the end, I was only willing to go so far to suss out the vocabulary (and Kindle did it very well! - pretty much all of those sailing terms were there - except not hafada, but then that's not a sailing term). Maybe at a later date when I have concentration abilities again I will finish it.
Nile Princess
Enjoyed this, but there is a lot about ships and sailing. A LOT!! Despite this, I found it very interesting and will continue to Book 2.
Jinjer Stanton
I used to read the fiction of the sea and didn't realize how much I missed it. I am so grateful to have found this! The writing is very good, even poetic. It explores the sea-faring life from a different perspective both culturally and in terms of character. I do have one issue with it. The point of view shifts unpredictably in the middle of a scenes. The book is VERY good, just not as polished as it could be. I plan to put the sequels on my Christmas list.
Marvelous book. It's been a while since I've enjoyed a literary adventure quite as much. Even my woeful unfamiliarity with 18th Century maritime history and it's terms didn't slow me down. Compelling hero, great cast of characters and plenty of action. Well, I couldn't ask for more.

I'm reminded by what I so enjoyed reading Joseph Conrad and Patrick O'Brien, only this time I have a hero who bats for my team.
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M. Kei is a tall ship sailor and award-winning poet. He lives on the Eastern Shore of the Chesapeake Bay and apprenticed aboard a skipjack, a sail-powered oyster dredge. He now serves with a fully rigged ship. His publications include over 1200 tanka poems in six languages and ten countries. He is the editor-in-chief of the anthology series, Take Five : Best Contemporary Tanka, and the author of S ...more
More about M. Kei...

Other Books in the Series

Pirates of the Narrow Seas (6 books)
  • Men of Honor (Pirates of the Narrow Seas, #2)
  • Iron Men (Pirates of the Narrow Seas, #3)
  • Heart of Oak (Pirates of the Narrow Seas, #4)
  • Man in the Crescent Moon (A Pirates of the Narrow Seas Adventure)
  • The Sea Leopard
Men of Honor (Pirates of the Narrow Seas, #2) Iron Men (Pirates of the Narrow Seas, #3) Heart of Oak (Pirates of the Narrow Seas, #4) Fire Dragon Take Five: Best Contemporary Tanka, Volume 4

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“Closer and closer they came. The sight was a glorious one: two vessels racing towards each other as the sun lifted above the rim of the world.” 1 likes
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