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The Sea Hawk

The Sea Hawk by Rafael Sabatini
By: (1875-1950)

First published in 1915, The Sea Hawk follows the adventures of its protagonist Sir Oliver Tressilian, as he is unjustly betrayed and left to the mercy of others by his selfish brother, who seeks only to save his own skin no matter the cost. Exploring various themes including betrayal, vengeance, sacrifice, injustice, and tormented love, the novel successfully demonstrate Sabatini’s exceptional flair for adventure.

Set in the late 16th century, the tale begins with the introduction of Sir Oliver Tressilian, a wealthy gentleman who lives together with his brother Lionel, haunted by his family’s bad-tempered reputation. Aware of his irascible nature, Sir Oliver is adamant in controlling the unpleasant characteristic in order to prove himself worthy in the eyes of his love, Rosamund Goldolphin. However, the Tressilians and Godolphins have a history of mutual contempt, and this is enough reason for Rosamund’s reckless brother Peter to detest his sister’s betrothed. Making no attempt to hide his dislike, Peter insults Sir Oliver in the company of several nobles, but Sir Oliver is determined to keep his promise to Rosamund that no harm will come to Peter from him, and so dismisses the issue. Subsequently, Peter is found dead as a result of a fatal duel, incidentally occurring without any witnesses, between himself and Lionel over a woman they were both involved with. Considering his previous public humiliation, all fingers are pointed at Sir Oliver as the murderer. Swayed by family loyalty, he chooses not to reveal his brother’s guilt, and is instead shunned by society and Rosamund, while Lionel does not do much to redeem his brother’s reputation either. To make matters even worse, Sir Oliver is not only framed for murder and spurned by his fiancée, but his scheming brother further arranges to have him kidnapped, and sold as a slave in Barbary. Betrayed by those he values most, Sir Oliver becomes engulfed by hate and is guided solely by his thirst for revenge, which in turn results in his complete transformation.

Needless to say, Sabatini offers a swashbuckling novel that is guaranteed to mesmerize its audience with it copious supply of thrilling adventure, action, excitement, romance, melodrama, and exotic locations. Furthermore, Sabatini offers an intricate plot, a vibrant set of characters, and historical elements that classifies The Sea Hawk as a gripping tale and an indisputable page-turner.

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Reviews (Rated: 2 Stars - 4 reviews)

Reviewer: - June 11, 2014
Subject: Sea Hawk
No Daniel was right. I would like to here the whole story but the readers, especially the female voices sound like they are reading to preschoolers. I will look for another reading of this. Sorry.
Reviewer: - November 12, 2013
Subject: The Sea Hawk
Daniel must have had bad speakers, it was great, good story and a wonderful reading.
Reviewer: - October 23, 2013
Subject: Good story
Two excellent readers! Thank you for a great effort.
Reviewer: - November 14, 2012
Subject: Bad recording
This reader is so bad, I could not listen to it.

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