Saturday, November 28, 2009

Legacy of the King's Pirates Series

Legacy of the King’s Pirates
by M.L. Tyndall

I first saw the cover for MaryLu Tyndall’s pirate book The Redemption in 2006. My initial thought was disbelief. It intrigued me but really, a swashbuckler book with a pirate hero isn’t your average Christian literature.

Months later, I saw another Pirate book by MaryLu with a slightly different cover, followed by a 3rd book in 2007. By this time, the name MaryLu Tyndall was quite common to me but I didn’t know anything about her or her writing.

In the fall of 2008, I stopped off in a Christian bookstore in Winnipeg, Manitoba on my way back from the American Christian Fiction Writer’s (ACFW) conference in Minneapolis, MN and there on a sale table lay MaryLu’s 3 book series, Legacy of the King’s Pirates. I’ve always been a sucker for tall ships and these book covers caught my eye with their aura of danger and excitement. And at the price offered, I grabbed them. Once home, I put the books on my To Be Read (TBR) pile which is around 400 strong and got down to the business of writing. The pirates languished and I forgot about them.

By this time I’d read a few hundred inspirational books and although there were some I raved about in my book reviews, for the most part I thought them to be okay. Yes, they told good stories of faith and perseverance but they tended to ignore the physical side of their relationships. Now I’m not saying I want to read explicit material—I’m just saying I want to know the two main characters feel a real passion for each other before they take that huge matrimonial step.

Then one day I was watching the ACFW loop go by and a member mentioned this same thing. I was so pleased when another member posted a list of inspirational authors who wrote more ‘realistic’ or ‘edgy’ books. One of the authors on that list was MaryLu Tyndall. Really? I swooped down on my TBR pile and pulled out her Legacy of the King’s Pirates series and left them on my end table to read next.

And I’ll tell you, they are more than I ever imagined a Christian romance could be. I didn’t put them down until forced to by the dictates of family life. They fulfilled my quest for adventure, increased my heart rate, made me cry, and proved that Christian fiction came be just as entertaining as anything else on the market today. In fact, I flipped the pages to re-check the publisher’s insignia on the spine so many times and yet still I couldn’t believe it. Here’s a quick rundown on the books in the Legacy of the King’s Pirate series:

Book 1 – The Redemption – Lady Charlisse Bristol is on a personal mission to find the father who abandoned her as a child. She finds herself dependent on Edmund Merrick, a pirate leader. Running on an unlimited supply of faith, Charlisse struggles with her attraction to Edmund. The pirate leader is torn between his baser instincts and his respect for the beautiful Charlisse who seems to call upon God to do her bidding at will. But who will be the man beside her when she realizes her father is the most terrible pirate of the time.

Book 2 – The Reliance – I was very skeptical of this book because it contains the same main characters as Book 1. I mean I read their story of finding love and faith—what more could there be in a romance? But at that point, I hadn’t realized what a master storyteller MaryLu is. In this book, she didn’t just bring back Charlisse and Edmund, she also brought back the villain who’s extra angry at being bested in Book 1. So, he creates an incident where he’s able to steal a pregnant Charlisse away but leave Edmund thinking she and their unborn child is dead. So here you have a pirate with a shaky newfound faith drowing in misery. What does he do? What do you think he does? He certainly didn’t do what I thought would be printed in a Christian book, that’s for sure. Yet it could have happened so easily in real life.

Book 3 – The Restitution – Now this book was a stunner! Again, the characters are familiar because the hero is none other than the villain in the first 2 books and the heroine is the woman he ravishes in Book 2. This book starts with Lady Isabel Ashton and her 7 month old son who is the result of that fateful day on board Captain Kent Carlton’s pirate ship. As an unwed mother, Isabel’s life is a daily struggle of humiliation but she won’t give up her son for anything. When he’s kidnapped, she does the unthinkable and enlists the help of the baby’s father and his ship to search the Caribbean for him. Can Kent put aside his own agenda of becoming the new pirate king to become the man Isabel and their baby needs?

This series teems with the awesome power of God who stands beside those who serve Him. It resounds with the words from that gut wrenching hymn Amazing Grace in that the heroes are sinners on a path of destruction until faced with the infinite mercy of a Father who forgives everything and wipes the slate clean. MaryLu’s character arcs show the progression of villain to man of faith and made me wonder why I ever doubted a pirate could be saved.

Although this series is a couple years old, it’s still available online at and possibly even bookstores, new or used. MaryLu is still writing strong exciting inspirational historicals of the same location and era. In fact, she was a guest here at the Inkwell in October and I believe she’ll be back in a month or two. For more information on MaryLu and her books check out her website.

So? What do you think? Do you have a favorite swashbuckler book or movie? Do you like edgy inspirationals or do you prefer the more sedate variety? Or even, what do you think about a romance that contains further adventures of the same characters?


  1. Good Morning Anita Mae and Everyone. Hey, it's only Saturday and I've already had two days off of 'the paying job'. I love long weekends.

    Well, I'm happy to jump in here and comment about MaryLu's books. My first M.L. Tyndall read was The Falcon and the Sparrow. It was a page-turner. I hate to admit this, but I was talking to myself "This is amazing. It's like a 'real' romance novel."

    I think it was the pacing--a snappy plot and real snappy sexual tension.

    Now, don't get me wrong. Like Anita Mae, I don't need to read love scenes (ye olde bodice ripper) but IN A ROMANCE I want to know their motors are running! This does not take away from the story of their faith journey, rather it adds to it.

    I heartily recommend M.L Tyndall's romances for this reason. Thanks Anita for reviewing an older book series. Happy Saturday!

  2. I love edgy Christian fiction. The edgier the better, as long as the heart stays true to the mission of Christ. I don't think I've ever kept that a secret. Let's face it, the Bible is a pretty edgy book. It draws sharp lines between good and evil, but shows the true nature and depravity of mankind and is brutally honest.

    My favorite Swashbuckler to date is Blue Enchantress by Mary Lu. I recently found a copy of The Restitution at a closeout store, and I'm looking forward to reading it.

    Anita, I laughed when I saw that you kept double checking the publisher, because I did the same thing.

    Mary Lu will be visiting on January 20th, by the way.


  3. Anita and Dina, when I was at the ACFW conf. and found that my editor appt was with Becky Germany from Barbour I went to the bookstore and asked them to show me books from Barbour. IOW Did I have half a chance to sell what I'm writing? When I found M.L. Tyndall, I not only breathed a sigh of relief but felt encouraged that they were publishing a broad spectrum of romantic fiction.

    Hey, it's fun to have my favorite authors come to inktropolis!

  4. Deb and Dina, I'm in a rush this morning and have a 1.5 hr drive ahead of me. Will talk when I find WiFi either on the road on in my hotel room.

    I really want to address your comments!

  5. I LOVE MaryLu's books!!! I'm so happy that you shared your thoughts on this series! Her latest series, Charles Towne Belles is just as good!

    My favorite pirate movie is Pirates of the Caribbean! I remember going to see Pirates 2 in the theater then going to Wal-Mart the next day and picking up a copy of MaryLu's first book since the cover had pirates on it LOL!

    I love edgy inspirationals! Besides MaryLu's books my other favorite "edgy" writers are Julie Lessman (Daughters of Boston series) and Deeanne Gist's books! I also love series' that tell us what happens next, I usually fall in love with characters and after the wedding or whatever I want to know what takes place...maybe that's why I loved MaryLu's Pirates books so much!

    xoxo~ Renee

  6. Thanks, Anita! I'm going to have to look for this. Loved your review.

    Deb, you crack me up. Ye olde bodice ripper. tee hee.

    Hope everyone is enjoying their weekend!

  7. Hey Deb, I hesitated a few times before posting this review because it was for older books but that's just the way it happened and since the books are still available, I figured why not.

    Actually, I believe MaryLu fills a niche in today's market and I'm thrilled I finally discovered the treasure of her stories.

    Have a good weekend, Deb.

  8. Dina, I haven't read the Blue Enchantress yet but I'm already looking forward to it. I'm afraid MaryLu's books are on my auto-buy list now.

    I'm very loyal to my authors which is why I have the almost complete Steeple Hill series including the Love Inspired, and LI Suspense and LI Historical. I want a guaranteeed HEA and the Steeple Hill books deliver. I don't know if it's because they fall under the Harlequin umbrella although even then I like some authors better than others. But when I discover an author I like, I generally stick with them even when they go to other publishers.

    So I hope MaryLu doesn't think I'm a stalker but she's now an auto-buy for me. :)

    Julie Lessman is another edgy author who's an auto-buy for me. Talk about a wake-up call into the possibilities of Christian publishing today.

    I can't say how much I appreciate these ladies for having the guts to stick with their writing and become role models for writers like me.

    MaryLu will be here Jan 20th? Thanks Dina, for the date and for the sharing. :)

  9. Deb, I think the question for me was because I've read many, many Barbour books and have never encountered anything else like MaryLu's books amongst their other offerings. So either they're the exception or I'm missing out on some very good reading material.

  10. Renee, I enjoyed Pirates of the Caribbean, too but they paled in comparison to MaryLu's books for me. I think because they lacked the faith issue which is such a huge part of MaryLu's characters.

    Yes, the Blue Enchantress is part of the Charles Towne Belles series which I'm looking forward to reading.

    I love series books except that I want to read them together. This means I'll buy the first one in the series then hang onto it for months or years until the next one comes out. When all the books in the series have been released, then I read them together. Otherwise, my memory is so bad I don't remember who's who and I like knowing recurring characters.

    Glad you like Julie's books too although I'm not familiar with Deeanne Gist - yet. :D

    Thanks for speaking up, Renee.

  11. Hey Susanne,I don't understand how some people equate bodice rippers to romance. It's like they don't understand what passion is so they throw some violence in because it's high-strung emotion and they think that must be it.

    Thanks for popping in. And yes, I'm enjoying my weekend so far. Hubby's work Christmas party is tonight and because we had to travel 1.5 hrs to get here they spot us for rooms in a local hotel. We brought the kids and they're swimming now but will stay in the room tonight while we go see what trouble we can get into. Free food, free entertainment, love this company.

  12. Hey Anita, enjoy your Christmas party tonight. It sounds like a great getaway. I enjoyed your review. I'll have to add yet another book to my TBR list. One can never have too many books! Pirate movies, pirate stories...I've always loved them.

    I love Pirates of the Caribbean. And I especially love the ride at Disneyland. Especially since they revamped it and added a dashingly familar face to the ride. But I do think my all-time favorite pirate movie is that classic Peter Pan. Even when I was a little kid entranced in the entire movie, my heart always beat a little faster when they were on the pirate ship.

  13. Hey Suzie, I did enjoy the Christmas party. I especially liked that they said grace before the meal and the head boss thanked the spouses for keeping the home fire burning because he said their men wouldn't be such good employees if it wasn't for the women waiting at home. :D

    This company is soooo different than the raunchy one hubby worked for a couple years ago. That was more like a bachelor party than a celebration of Christ's birth if you know what I mean.

    They didn't have Pirates of the Caribbean when we were in Disneyworld 12 yrs ago. But I remember going to visit Arial's Little Mermaid show. We were put in a 'holding room' and it was like being right on the dock waiting to board ship. The dank smell, the seagull cries, even the mist on our skin. Awesome. I loved it!

    Yes, I liked Captain Hook as well.

    In a big warehouse-like museum in Winnipeg, Manitoba, they have a replica of the tall ship HMS Nonsuch on display. It's the actual size of the ship as it once was. The thing that gets me is how small it is. We see these big pirate ships and it looks like they have so much room but really, they were compact and cramped.

    Thanks for reminding me that only 6 hrs away is a real-life ship for me to board when I need the research.


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