The Butcher's Daughter is based on a true story, the life of an Irish pirate queen in the Elizabethan era. The story is told in the first person from Mary's point of view, which gives a unique perspective on a pirate's life. Mary has her own set of rules that the crew must follow also, but she is not adverse to spilling blood when necessary.
Much of the tale is Mary telling her story to Queen Elizabeth while imprisoned in the Tower with Sir William Cecil taking notes in the background. There are many such historical incidents and people interwoven into the book which makes it all the more real. For example, the story of Sorley Boy MacDonnell watching as the English massacred his people on Rathlin Island is well known to me, and the author fits it into Mary's tale seamlessly.
The action is fast, the writing is enthralling, and this is a fine tale of pirates, history, and revenge.
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