By Don D'Ammassa
Covers many of the best possible of event fiction, from literary classics comparable to Charles Dickens' A story of 2 towns and Joseph Conrad's the key Agent to stories that experience enthralled more youthful readers for a few years, resembling Treasure Island and The Wizard of ounces.
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And indeed, that seems to be the case, because in short order he conquers Crete, then unites all of Attica, the Greek peninsula, under his rule. But for all his military victories, he remains unsatisfied. His life changes course when he confronts a band of pirates and becomes close friends with their leader, Pirithoos. Together they travel around the Mediterranean, having various adventures, and their friendship becomes more intimate with the passage of time. Theseus intervenes on behalf of Oedipus, who is scorned wherever he travels despite having once been King of Thebes.
He also begins organizing his fellow slaves to escape to sea, but their plans seem destined to go awry when a confrontation between Blood and Bishop threatens to disrupt the scheme. Fortunately for the conspirators, a band of Spanish pirates choose that moment to attack the island, and in the subsequent confusion the slaves escape and capture the Spaniards’ ship. Blood’s education in treachery is not yet complete, however, because he promises to cooperate with the Spanish captain, which almost results in disaster.
One of the striking things about The Black Swan is that, despite the brutal nature of Teach and some of his followers and the desperate situation in which the protagonists find themselves, there is very little actual violence except by suggestion, the major exception being the final duel between De Bernis and Teach. Sabatini’s heroes are usually physically powerful and skilled with their weapons, but most of the time it is their wits that carry the day and not the strength of their arms. De Bernis plays Teach and his men against one another, fends off the verbal attacks from Sands, and turns a desperate recourse into a major triumph.
Encyclopedia of Adventure Fiction by Don D'Ammassa