THE second in the Hector Lynch series of period adventures.

Hector was a teenager when he was taken into slavery by Corsairs from Ireland.

He survived the galleys of the Turks and French and is now in the Caribbean with trusted companions French criminal Jacques and Miskit Indian Dan.

They run foul of privateers and are press ganged into an army of buccaneers hoping to steal gold and silver by sacking Spanish coastal towns in South America and from Spanish ships on the high sea.

Author Severin is an explorer, film maker and winner of several awards for his travel books.

His period detail is precise, but his characters remain cardboard and his action lacks passion. He laces his narrative with accurate descriptions of geography, atmospherics and nautical matters as well as insights into the life and philosophy of native Indians and wildlife, but it is a bit like a sixth form essay rather than a swashbuckling romp.