Antonia de Rocsini: Queen of the Pirates

Rinaldo Rinaldini, trans. from the French by Krys Roxien. Krys Roxien Books, $25 paper (400p) ISBN 978-0-615-47722-0
The swashbuckling life story of a notorious royal heiress turned pirate queen, Antonia de Rocsini, has been skillfully translated by Roxien. De Rocsini's adventures in the 17th century, beginning days before her 22nd birthday, tumble out in a succession of pistol fights, flamboyant bravado, treasonous coups, buccaneer swordfights, and masterful double-crossing of a colorful cast of dukes, knights, and counts. Frequent asides entertainingly analyze de Rocsini's behavioral motivations, and, midway through the book, biographer Rinaldini appears as a seaman on de Rocsini's crew of bandits. A young, witty, fearless swordswoman and seaworthy sovereign, de Rocsini is depicted as a fearless defender of her ship and a steadfast friend and compassionate ally to her companions and random admirers. As lively and steeped in nautical melodrama as a work of historical fiction, Roxien's translation of de Rocsini's exploits bursts off the page with nonstop tidal waves of excitement and seafaring treachery.
Reviewed on: 10/01/2012
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