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The Guardship (The Brethren of the Coast #1)

3.99  ·  Rating Details  ·  253 Ratings  ·  22 Reviews
Shortly after Thomas Marlowe's arrival in Williamsburg, Virginia, all in that newfound capital city are speaking his name. With the bounty from his years as a pirate--a life he intends to renounce and keep forever secret--he purchases a fine plantation from a striking young widow, and soon after kills the favorite son of one of Virginia's most powerful clans while defendin ...more
Paperback, 384 pages
Published January 5th 2000 by William Morrow Paperbacks (first published January 1st 2000)
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Master and Commander by Patrick O'BrianThe Old Man and the Sea by Ernest HemingwayTreasure Island by Robert Louis StevensonMoby-Dick; or, The Whale by Herman MelvilleTwenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne
Nautical Novels
95th out of 229 books — 249 voters
The Devil's Fire by Matt TomerlinThe Devil's Tide by Matt TomerlinThe Devil's Horizon by Matt TomerlinThe Devil's Fire by Matt TomerlinTreasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
Great Pirate Tales
8th out of 63 books — 20 voters

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Community Reviews

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Jun 18, 2016 Aeseyman rated it really liked it
Oh, what a fun story! Swashbuckling pirates and ladies in distress, set in the English colony of Virginia at the start of the 18th century. Fully believable, relatable characters involved in a suspenseful story that kept my attention all the way through. I especially loved the description of the psychological warfare of vaporing employed by the pirates. No historical notes at the back of this book, unfortunately. And what's with the author's choice of names for his main characters' right-hand-m ...more
♞ Pat Gent
May 16, 2016 ♞ Pat Gent rated it really liked it
Shelves: series-1
This was a pretty fun, light romance, very swash-buckling adventure tale. Sort of formulaic, but a good read in spite of that.

I don't usually go for the adventure books, and almost never for the romances, but this one wasn't too sappy-drippy with the love story, and who doesn't love a pirate that is trying to remake himself into a gentleman?

I'll probably read the next book in the series, just because I want to see how things end up for Elizabeth and Marlowe.

Jun 27, 2010 Elron rated it it was ok
Shelves: nautical-fiction
Entertaining nautical fiction, but practically a romance novel.
Jul 10, 2015 Phillip rated it really liked it
I went into this novel with a pre-cemented love of all things pirates, particularly Captain Blood, by Raphael Sabatini. The only pirate novel that has disappointed me is Tim Powers' On Stranger Tides, which was confusing, slow at times, and too "other-worldly" for a pirate novel. Here, Nelson has concocted a group of characters are are all interesting and engaging, and thrust them into an adventurous tale of a man's desire to escape his villainous past and start over again in the New World. For ...more
Jul 09, 2016 Alyse rated it it was amazing
Though not my normal genre, but I was given this book due to my love of pirate lore and agreed to read it. Somewhere around word three, I was hooked, and I sucked the entirety of the book down during a week at the beach. I love Marlowe and his complicated conscious, LeRois and his tenuous grip on sanity, Bickerstaff and Middleton and Rakestraw and Elizabeth in their entirety. Beyond being captivated by the story, I found myself immersed in these characters' worlds and their ships. I cannot wait ...more
Sep 14, 2011 Paul rated it really liked it
I like novels with heroes (not really the right word for Thomas Marlowe, but he is the main protagonist) with a dark history. I also can't resist a story which takes me to places I can't physically travel to, i.e. the past.
With The Guardship, James Nelson introduces the reader to a character filled with angst and turmoil, looking for a new start. Life doesn't work that way. Thomas's past catches up with him, much to his benefit, as he endeavours to defend his home colony from pirates who have mo
Jan 15, 2012 Hyeronimus rated it liked it
Recommended to Hyeronimus by: nessuno
Un bellissimo libro di avventure marinaresche!
Qui non c'è un'approfondita introspezione psicologica dei personaggi, ma l'azione è sempre protagonista, non c'è un attimo di tregua, non ci sono cadute di tensione, l'adrenalina è costantemente sopra il livello di guardia e costa fatica abbandonare la lettura.
Non ho ancora letto nessun libro di Patrick O'Brian, altro scrittore di avventure marinaresche, peraltro più famoso di Nelson, e non posso pertanto fare paragoni, ma posso affermare con sinceri
Jan 08, 2015 Eric rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was an immensely entertaining story of a man who captains the Plymouth Prize which patrols the coast for pirates. He gets involved in a damsel in distress, insane pirates and rather nasty plantation owners.
Steve Haywood
Jan 08, 2012 Steve Haywood rated it really liked it
A really rather good historical fiction novel set in colonial America (Virginia) around 1700. Easy to read, not too heavy on the detail it grips you from the outset and doesn't let up. Some reviewers describe this as maritime fiction, but the characters are on land as much as they are on ship which I found to be a good thing. Definitely recommend - I read all 450 pages in the space of 4 days which is as quick as I've read a book in a long time.
Dewayne Stark
Jan 25, 2014 Dewayne Stark rated it liked it
Ships and naval guns
Oct 20, 2010 Bonsaiforlife rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2010, own, nautical
Pirates in Virginia. This book was full of adventure and surprises. Though its story was told more on land than on the open seas. There were a few interesting parts and it kept me reading. I enjoyed the book and will read the next one in the series. I did like the different view since this was based on privateers and the new america, very different than the normal HMS read.
Apr 13, 2010 Kevin rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
In the early 18th Century, Thomas Marlowe fights a duel over a woman's honor and gains the enmity of a powerful family in Williamsburg, Virginia. He is awarded the captaincy of the guardship, a man-of-war defending Williamsburg against pirates.
This swashbuckling adventure should be next to "Treasure Island" on your shelf. Loved it! Loved it! Loved it!

Apr 14, 2013 Annie rated it really liked it
Not a Pulitzer contender but a really fun read that has tons of cross over appeal, colonial history, pirates, intrigue and just enough of a love story. I haven't been this entertained by just a good yarn in a long time. Smarter then most of the mind candy I run across. I am looking forward the next in the series. Well done James Nelson.
May 08, 2008 Jane rated it really liked it
Are they pulitzer contestants? No, but I still love a good yarn about pirates. The Brethren trilogy satisfied my need for blackhearted, scurvy dogs that sailed the seven seas, or in this case a gentrified one trying to make his peace on land. But we all know that plot conivance won't last for long.
christina moore
Feb 26, 2007 christina moore rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Historical Fiction Readers
James Nelson carried the genre of nautical historical fiction to the shores of the United States. Instead of reading about the early history of US history from the Brits, I can now enjoy a new perspective.

Jim's knowledge and experience absolutely shine in his work.
Mark Mekkes
Apr 30, 2016 Mark Mekkes rated it it was amazing
Shelves: adventure
There aren't a lot of great, swashbuckling pirate adventures, but this is certainly one of them. I'm eager to read the rest of the series!
Elise Williams
Jun 27, 2011 Elise Williams rated it really liked it
This was my first James Nelson book and I found it fast paced and exciting. This is book 1 of his Thomas Marlowe series of pirate books.
Apr 14, 2016 Sonny rated it really liked it
A good action novel. Already put the second in the series on my to read list.
Mar 02, 2012 Jack rated it really liked it
Great book, especially fun because it takes place in Colonial Williamsburg.
Apr 19, 2012 Sergio rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Un classico dell'avventura...non vedo l'ora di leggere gli episodi successivi!
The Guardship: Book One of the Brethren of the Coast by James L. Nelson (2000)
Steve Goble
Nov 16, 2015 Steve Goble rated it liked it
Shelves: history, adventure
This was a pretty good swashbuckling romp.
Snowbourne marked it as to-read
Jul 21, 2016
Janet rated it really liked it
Jul 13, 2016
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Jul 13, 2016
Rosalyn Reid Leborg
Rosalyn Reid Leborg marked it as to-read
Jul 11, 2016
David Jurusz
David Jurusz rated it really liked it
Jul 10, 2016
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Jul 08, 2016
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Jul 03, 2016
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James L. Nelson (1962-) is an American historical nautical novelist. He was born in Lewiston, Maine. In 1980, Nelson graduated from Lewiston High School. Nelson attended the University of Massachusetts, Amherst for two years, and then transferred to UCLA, with the ambition of becoming a film director. Nelson, his wife, Lisa, and their daughter Betsy lived for two years in Steubenville, Ohio, while ...more
More about James L. Nelson...

Other Books in the Series

The Brethren of the Coast (3 books)
  • The Pirate Round (Thomas Marlowe, #3)
  • The Blackbirder (Thomas Marlowe, #2)

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