Isle of Swords by Wayne Thomas Batson - Throwback Thursday!

Image c. 2007 - Thomas Nelson Publishing

Throwback Thursday! I'll be revising and posting reviews I've written in the past.  This one was originally written in 2009 for a book review essay contest. 

Title: Isle of Swords 

Author: Wayne Thomas Batson

Published: 2007 by Thomas Nelson Publishers

Captain Declan Ross is not your typical pirate. A man of honor and integrity, he searches for the riches that will free him and his daughter from the “piracy business” forever.

Sixteen-year-old Anne Ross has sailed with her father ever since her mother’s death nearly ten years ago. Unlike her father, Anne is fascinated with the pirate’s life and the sea.  So much so that she secretly longs to captain a ship of her own –a seemingly impossible dream, as her mere presence on her father’s ship is objected to by a few (but vocal) crewmen who cite old sailor’s tales that claim a woman on board brings bad luck. However, her more pressing concern is getting some space away from her father, who has become more protective and cautious since the death of his wife and is now in the awkward position of a parent caught between his desire to always protect his only daughter and realizing he needs to slowly let go of the growing young woman before him. Anne finally sees her chance for some space when they stop at a deserted island to make some much needed repairs to the old vessel. With the entire crew occupied, Anne impulsively decides to explore the island and finds…

…A young man, severely injured and nearly to the point of death. Saved by Captain Ross’s crew, he is nicknamed “Cat” (for his “nine lives” and narrow escape from death) when it is discovered that he has no memory of who he is, how he was injured, or how he ended up on the island. The only clues Cat has to his past are a beautiful green jewel and a mysterious lock of red hair found in the leather pouch he was clutching on the island.

The legendary Treasure of Constantine (and the secret sect of monks who guarded it) was said to have been one of fables and lore of yesteryear. But when Bartholomew Thorne steals a copy of the map which leads to the renowned treasure’s location, Padre Dominguez, a monk of that mysterious order, enlists the help of Captain Ross and his crew to protect the treasure. But the only way to save Constantine’s Treasure from the most ruthless pirate of the Caribbean …is to get there first.

            Add these characters and plots together, throw in the diverse crew of the William Wallace, a pirate-hunting British Commodore, numerous sea battles, a dash of humor, a bit of swordplay, a smidgen of mystery, a major plot twist –and did I mention a Frenchman with a penchant for explosives? Mix it all together and you have a thrilling adventure that takes you from the Caribbean, across the Atlantic to Africa, all the way to Europe, and back to the Caribbean. Who knew the 18th century could be so exciting?

              I found Isle of Swords to be reminiscent of many things I love about Brian Jacques' works –both the Castaways of the Flying Dutchman and Redwall series (especially the ones featuring seafaring such as The Legend of Luke ). It's definitely a good thing! Like Jacques' novels, Isle of Swords is full of questing, adventuring, humor, unique characters and action. However Wayne Thomas Batson delivers a bit faster pace (not as given to the borderline “wordy” descriptiveness as Brian Jacques is known for) in a believable historical setting (minus one use of the word “okay” which I felt was a bit to modern for 18th century characters). 

           While I did let my youngest brother read this series when he was ten, because of some "intense scenes" (of a violent nature, but most are implied, if I remember correctly) I would suggest adults, parents, or guardians pre-read the novel to decide if it is appropriate for your younger elementary school aged kids . . . Though I think if they’ve watched the Lord of the Rings or Star Wars films, they should be fine.  However, I highly recommend this book (and it's sequel "Isle of Fire") to teens and adults looking for a great read (especially for reluctant readers)!  Definitely the best I've read from Wayne Thomas Batson so far!
Isle of Swords by Wayne Thomas Batson - Throwback Thursday! Isle of Swords by Wayne Thomas Batson - Throwback Thursday! Reviewed by The Artist Librarian on 7/10/2014 12:00:00 AM Rating: 5


  1. I really enjoyed both "Isle of Swords" and "Isle of Fire". I think my favorite character was Dolphin. :)

    1. Awesome! Dolphin was a neat side character --My favorite character was Cat. I'm still holding out hope Wayne Thomas Batson might someday write one more "Pirate" novel.


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