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Slave to Fortune

4.41  ·  Rating details ·  499 ratings  ·  48 reviews
“One of those books that brings to life a piece of the past that’s little known… It has the feel of a classic.” – The Glasgow Herald

Slave to Fortune is an award-winning historical novel. Tom Cheke’s world is turned upside-down when he is kidnapped from his home by Barbary corsairs during an audacious night raid.

Sold into slavery in seventeenth-century Algiers, Tom carves
Kindle Edition, 364 pages
Published April 24th 2015
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Average rating 4.41  · 
Rating details
 ·  499 ratings  ·  48 reviews

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Mar 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Probably one of the best books I have read . Full of historical fact ( as well as a good dose of fiction ) .One of the few books to mention the Barbary corsairs who enslaved thousands of white christians , many of whom were kidnapped from Dorset , Cornwall and Ireland. In some cases whole villages in Southern Ireland were decimated . A lot of this has been airbrushed from history because of political correctness and the assumption that all slaves were black and African.
Wytzia Raspe
One night when a young 14 year old English boy is sleeping in his bed the door of his English home is kicked in and he is taken captive by Murat Rais an infamous Dutch renegade who is a captain of the Barbary corsairs, the Muslim privateers from the coast of North Africa.
Taken to Algiers he is sold as a slave to a high public servant. But that is just the beginning of a long adventure to bring him back home.
It is obvious that the author had done a lot of research. The book is full with historic
Anna Craven
Sep 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A gripping read with wonderful, sumptuous imagery to dine on. This exciting story takes you on a wonderful journey , meeting memorable characters along the way. If you fancy a bit of swash buckling excitement written by someone who has clearly swatted up on historical details , then you must read this!
Apr 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reading-350-01
I really enjoyed this book it truly puts you in the time period, and shows you the harshness of the time period. this book is full of great historical facts that you don't normally hear. This exciting story takes you on a wonderful journey , meeting memorable characters along the way. tom was captured in a night raid and sold in to slavery. after he carves out a new life he is once again captured but this time by a knight. it is great to see the perseverance that tom has through the book.

this w
Mar 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
I happened upon this book through an amazon search and, after reading a sample, I immediately purchased it to finish the story. This is different from my usual preferred genres, as I tend to read high and urban fantasy, with a smattering of travel essays and nature books thrown in. Historical books aren't my forte, but I really enjoyed Munro's descriptions and was able to truly feel Tom's fear and confusion as he was dragged from his home in the middle of the night and forced aboard a ship. His ...more
Fantastic first book, excellent research well written plot reads like a classic page turner of a story. Can't get over it's this author's first novel. Like being a rookie in the NBA and in your first game you score 65 points, off the charts good first effort. So the plot follows the kidnapping to three children by Islamic pirates from the isle of man in the early 1600's. The children are taken to Algeria and enslaved then in the style of a Somerset Maugham story up from the bootstraps fashion th ...more
Ernest Godfrey
Jun 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing

I read this book as an adventure pure and simple. I love the old sailing books though I freely confess I am not a sailor and do not fully understand the names or terms involved. This book however is different in a number of ways based as it is on fact. The sympathetic way it treats the teachings of Islam and the muslin Faith are enlightening and for me at least surprising. That said it is still a good story well told and well worth reading
Jerry Mercer
Feb 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Excellent Story

A lively and interesting plot that takes the reader from the Isle of Wight to Algiers, Malta, and back again. The author writes well, using good dialogue, word choices, and descriptions. I especially liked the nautical scenes. The descriptions of Algiers were very well-done. The main characters were very believable.
Chaplain Stanley Chapin
Nov 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Truly excellent

A extremely well written account of a young Englishman trials and tribulations. Great characterization, that was well researched and developed. The intrigue and intensity kept you turning the pages with anticipation.
Jane Clancy
Sep 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Great Book

Excellent historical fiction based on the true story of Thomas Cheke. Loved the settings and characters. It was much more interesting than the usual slash and pillage because it adhered well to the true account.

Susan Taylor
Apr 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I thoughly enjoyed reading Slave to Fortune. It was very well written and I loved the characters. Looking farward to reading more books by D.J. Munro
Vivian J Suarez
Jun 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Excellent read

A fun, educational and entertaining book. I enjoyed all the characters to the point of reading all night to finish. Thanks to the author
Jim Rickard
Jul 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
One of the best books I've read

I gave this book a 5 star rating for I loved it. A book full of adventure, sword fights, mystery, and a pirate ship. Great story and well written.
Frank Menser
Aug 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read hundreds of books a year, primarily historical fiction. This is at the top of my list - great story. Kept me awake longer than I wanted to be on several nights, and as best I can tell, historically accurate. As a Master Mariner, I was particularly pleased with the seafaring descriptions that were believable.
Jan 05, 2018 rated it really liked it

The author has written an extremely adventurous story using some facts of the day. The adventure and the characters makes it a true yarn. I loved the research and the authors using various religions for the understanding of different cultures. Very Enjoyable.
jason myrie
Aug 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
A really enjoyable and considered story about a time I'm unfamiliar with. I hope there is another book in the offing. ...more
Nov 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
"Slave to Fortune" is a very enjoyable read of an adventure story. ...more
Keith Hopkins
Jan 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
A very good story. I enjoyed it very much.
dave trumble
Apr 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

History and adventure/ informative and objective. It is worth reading for the value of squashing religious prejudices. There is nothing that I found detrimental to the story. I thank the author for a good read.
Leon V Tremmel
Mar 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Excellent book very enjoyable and I hope for more

Great read engaging and it put me in Venice Italy in the period like I was standing there. Great book!
robin jones doucas
Feb 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Learn more about history of countries that we dont know.

Malta is something else, go visit & stay for at least a month, if you can spare more time do so my husband is totally wrapped in the HISTORY & Valletta . Venice your heart will stop, steep in history more then you think . Algiers I think I need to visit ... until now never knew much. After reading this book one should broaden their minds. Travel the world threw books is the way to also learn more about life & history.
Joseph V.
Dec 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing

I loved this book and would recommend it to anyone. Especially if they enjoy historical based book that read like a novel.
David Evans
Jan 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing

What a great story brought back many memories recognizing some of the names of the town's being from England I lived i
Lucy Lee
Sep 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Slave to Fortune harks back to the 17th century when the seas around Europe were fraught with danger, including the threat of Barbary corsairs. At times it has the air of a swashbuckling adventure and at others, there is subtle development of relationships through the narrative of the young and affable Thomas Cheke.

The novel opens with the nighttime kidnapping of children from their homes on the Isle of Wight. We learn quickly of their predicament and are eager to see how their lives pan out.
Feb 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
Wonderful first person narrative of Tom Cheke during the 1600's. Kidnapped from his home on the Isle of Wright, slave in Algiers and then rescued by Edward Hamilton, a Knight of St. John. This is his story and a good un. ...more
Jan 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Slavery & life!

Slaves of Islam were either well treated or used up quickly. This wonderful tale is well researched, characterization is excellent & the action fast as well as engaging. A very good read!
Jan 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. It was well written and based on actual events. If you enjoy good historical fiction (this one based on fact) then give this book a try.
Steven Toby
Apr 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Sprawling Tale

This book is such a page turner that I was planning to praise the taut and exciting plot but express skepticism about the authenticity. Then I got to the historical note at the end (good feature that appears in many historical novels since Patrick O’Brian used it in “Master and Commander”) and found out the author used a contemporary account and was therefore not responsible for the plot! Well, Shakespeare pirates almost all his plots and it doesn’t make us like his plays any less
Jun 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
The endnote reveals that the characters were based on real people in history, and the historical setting was richly developed.

As a story, however, it didn't grab my attention. Despite being kidnapped and sold into slavery in a foreign land, the characters don't seem to feel any existential threat (material or philosophical), so, to me as a reader, nothing feels "at stake." The pacing was really slow. It begins with the kidnapping, it takes the whole first half of the book for the child to settle
Vlad Valeyev
Dec 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Good family reading in Stevensonian tradition. It might have benefitted from a bit more details and some side fabulas. I.e. Catherine's character has been majority left out, day-by-day Algerian household life is a bit schematic and lacks details.

Also, as it's not a documentary, some side story lines could have been pursued - Aisha romance might have some potential, the silver coin story was left with no follow, history of Edward Hamilton might benefit from more excourse into the history of St.Jo
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DJ Munro grew up as one of eight children on the Isle of Wight, off the south coast of England. After high school, he headed north to university in Scotland to study English literature and also holds degrees in economics. He now lives in Edinburgh with his wife and three children and is an official in the Scottish Government.

He has enjoyed a varied career to date, working with some of the biggest

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