The Isle of Gold

the isle of gold.jpg

Mystery, Myth & Magic Meet in an Epic Adventure of Two Women Lost at Sea—
and the Secret that Binds Them Together


The year is 1716—the Golden Age of Pirates. An orphan who sleeps in the dusty kitchens of a quayside brothel, Merrin Smith is desperate to unravel the secrets of her past and find the truth about the events that brought her to the Caribbean island of Isla Perla as a child. Disguised as a sailor, and with the help of her longtime friend Claudette, Merrin joins the crew of the pirate ship Riptide, helmed by the notorious Captain Erik Winters. Tenacious and rumored a madman, Winters is known as much for his ruthlessness as for his connection to the enigmatic and beautiful proprietress of the Goodnight Mermaid, Evangeline Dahl, who vanished from Isla Perla two summers before.

At sunset the Riptide sails for the mythical island of Bracile, a place hidden between air and sea and that exists only for a moment every two years, and which has never returned any man who has sailed for its shores. The journey will be perilous and long, and it will take Merrin far away from the only home she’s ever known. Because she can read, Merrin will serve as the Captain’s apprentice, deciphering old texts for clues to the island’s whereabouts as the ship sails through haunted, frozen waters and into the very heart of the ocean. As she struggles to navigate the rough, seafaring life aboard a pirate ship, Merrin must keep her identity hidden from the scrupulous gaze of not only Captain Winters, but also Mister Brandon Dunn, the ship’s surly, legend-spouting quartermaster, and Tom Birch, the charming boatswain Merrin can’t help but feel drawn to.

As the Riptide makes its way to Bracile, Merrin begins to suspect that the men she has worked so hard to deceive may in fact be more connected to her than she would have imagined, and that perhaps her own past might have more to do with the Dunn’s legends and myths than she ever could have guessed.

In The Isle of Gold [Black Spot Books, October 9, 2018] Merrin Smith must face perilous waters, cursed sea goddesses, and the embodiments of some of the ocean’s most terrifying legends as she not only struggles to survive her journey, but to find the answers to the mysteries of her past.

A story where history meets fantasy, The Isle of Gold is an epic, emotional adventure of two women—one desperate to save herself, and the other determined to be rescued—and the secret which binds them together.

“For as long as men have sailed the ocean, they have told stories about the sea,” says Jane. “It’s a place of mystery, myth, and magic—and this makes The Isle of Gold a perfect setting for an epic adventure that is not only a tale of historical fiction, but of the very evolution of a woman’s spirit as she seeks to find herself in a world of unpredictability and uncertainty.”

“There is an old saying that ‘the cure for anything is saltwater—tears, sweat, or the sea.’ In The Isle of Gold, Merrin’s journey requires all three.”

Genre: Historical Fiction / Fantasy

Author: Seven Jane

Paperback, 248 pages

Expected publication: October 9th 2018

Publishing House: Black Spot Books

My Review:

“An orphan left behind like waste on an island. Who cares that I am not a man when the ship is about to be swallowed by the ocean?”

1716, Isla Perla in the Caribbean is a bustling place for merchants, traders, seafarers & explorers. It is the place where myths and tales of those born at sea are told, spread and learned to be feared. One of those is the legend born of the rumors of a love affair between Mistress Evangeline Dahl and Captain Winter. Her disappearance swept the shores of Isla Perla two summers before, as Winter ransacked every inch of the island in search of her. Consumed by his need to find her, he is determined to sail to the heart of the ocean to bring her back, as some old texts told of the fabled Ogygia, the surreptitious Isle of Gold, where Calypso had held Odysseus prisoner and it is believed that that is where Evangeline might be held.

Merrin Smith, orphaned, makes a home in a scratchy hammock of a seaside brothel kitchen. She has her eye set on the Riptide in the harbor being readied to set sail soon. Disguised as the male sailor ‘Westley Rivers’ she is planning to find employment on that ship, navigated by the notorious Captain Erik Winter.

“Not everythin’ be pretty fish and songs, lad. There be evil things that live in the deep.”

Westley lands a job to assist Winter in his quarters to read documents and maps, since he is the only other person on board versed in reading. If there were things Merrin was afraid of at sea, she certainly wasn’t most comfortable around Winters all day and night, considering the rumors she’s heard.

“Mind ye keep your wits about, Mister Rivers,” the older man counseled in a softer voice. He rested one hand upon my shoulder in a fatherly manner and pushed a thin woolen blanket inside my arm with the other. “In here ye be safe from the likes of them outside, but don’t let that fool you. The one you should really be afraid of is the one you’re locked in here with.”

The Riptide heads out to sea and Merrin as Rivers learns her way around. These sailors were made for the sea and they all had their ways about them. There is Jomo the cook, rescued from a slave traders ship, she learns to come to an agreement to exchange food for beads or little treasures. There is the handsome boatswain Tom Birch with piercing green eyes that Merrin is undeniably drawn to and Mister Brandon Dunn, the ships surely, her closest ally.

As the Riptied embarks through the perilous waters towards the hidden place between air and sea, Merrin will not only find out of more legends of the Deep to fear, but also her own connection to them and her powers to ultimately reunite those perished from reality.

How will this all unfold without anyone ever finding out the truth about her disguise? After all, the articles of the Pirate code strictly forbade woman from sailing aboard pirate’s ships with penalty of death! This, you will have to find out for yourself and read the novel.


I really, really liked this novel. It is filled with legends & myths and hunky, cranky, fearless, terrifying and sully pirate sailors! An adult novel to make you feel like a kid again.

The plot never lost its shroud of mysteriousness, while the characters gain in persona and the disasters of the perilous journey unfolds. The characters become likeable in their own way and I found myself rooting for all of them.

I absolutely recommend this book. It’s under 300 pages long and easy to read. I only wished there was a sequel to the story!
Enjoy :)


I received a digital copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange of an honest review. All opinions are my own. Thank you!