|US Cover Artist:||Michael Koelsch|
|UK Cover Artist:||David Wyatt|
|Read a sample from Amazon|
Voyage of Slaves, the third tale in the Castaways of the Flying Dutchman series, consists of three books chronicling the adventures of Ben and Ned as they try to rescue the Travelling Rizzoli Troupe from the Libyan slaver Al Misurata around the year 1703. Chronologically, the events happen before Book Three of Castaways of the Flying Dutchman.
Book Divisions (English)
- Book 1: Lord of the Barbary Coast
- Book 2: A Dangerous Freedom
- Book 3: Istrani Wolves
Lord of the Barbary Coast
The book opens with Ben and Ned stranded in a wrecked boat in the Mediterranean Sea off of the coast of Libya, when an Arabic slaver named Mahmud captures Ben and throws Ned back into the ocean. Ben is sold as a slave while Ned is washed up on a shore where he is found by a friendly troop of entertainers, the Travelling Rizzoli Troupe.
The entertainers are captured by the pirate Al Misurata who has been enslaving Ben at the same time. They (Ben and Ned) have a happy reunion, and Ben is soon deeply in love with Serafina, a beautiful singer in the troupe. There is little time for romance however, with Al Misurata around. Al Misurata offered to ship the Rizzoli Troupe to Piran, Slovenija (Slovenia), close to Augusto and Mama Rizzoli's home in Italy, along with Ben and Ned. They accepted the offer, and Augusto Rizzoli purchases Ben's freedom. However, Ned eavesdrops on Al Misurata consorting with Bomba Shakal and Ghigno the Corsair and discovers that Al Misurata intends to sell the troupe to Count Dreskar when they reach Piran. Later, Al Misuarata brings the troupe onboard his ship, the Sea Djinn. Ben and Ned chose to stay out on deck, rather than go into the heart of the ship, because of their fear from the Dutchman. The troupe, however, stayed in their room. After the ship set sail, Bomba hired a knife thrower, Abrit, to kill Ben and Ned during the night. However, the plan was stymied, because Mummo went on deck due to seasickness, and threw a belaying pin at Abrit, killing him, after seeing him almost throw his knife. Soon, the Sea Djinn reached Malta, where Ben and Ned escaped by cutting the rope holding the foresail aloft, then jumping overboard. They swam to the island, where the next section begins.
A Dangerous Freedom
Ben and Ned are on Malta, where they encounter a fisherman and his son, who after Ned gave some information to Ben, gave them food after a conversation. The fisherman, whose name was Francisco, decided to to take the place of the old goatherd Francisco in carrying the cross in the Lenten Feast. Francisco let Ben and Ned borrow his rowboat, while he and his son went to talk to the priest.
Meanwhile, Al Misurata went with a few men, including Bomba, to search the island. When Bomba accidentally fired his musket, Ben and Ned knew Al Misurata was after them. They passed several ships in an effort to hide, and found the White Ram. Joshua, the grandson of the ship's captain, went for a swim, and Ben and Ned saved him from a shark. Eli Bar Shimon, the Hebrew captain of the ship, was grateful to Ben and allowed him to stay on his ship. Since Francisco's boat sank during the shark's onslaught, Eli sent him one of their lifeboats. When the men returned, they encountered Al Misurata. He demanded to search the White Ram for Ben and Ned, but Eli refused to let him. This angered Al Misurata, and the Sea Djinn proceeded to seal the White Ram into the bay; Eli ordered Caleb, one of his crew, to fire a cannon at Misurata's rowboat, which was sailing to the Sea Djinn. Al Misurata's boat sank, and as he could not swim, the crew of the Sea Djinn had to save him.
The White Ram escaped to open sea, headed for Sicily. Ghigno notified his cousin, the False Padre Marlanese, that the White Ram was headed his way. Marlanese commanded six rowboats, and was known as a wrecker, one who could kill a ship's crew in the night with his mercenaries. However, Ned felt their presence, and Ben told Eli. Eli had all of the ship's cannons fired as a warning. Marlanese talked with Eli, but did not withdraw his men. As a result, Eli shot Marlanese with a fire arrow, and Marlanese's group retreated. The White Ram reached Sicily, and Eli met his friend, Fra Salvatore. Fra Salvatore told them that Al Misurata was following them, and Ben revealed his plan. If Eli diverted the Sea Djinn, Ben and Ned could slip away on another ship to Slovenija. The plan went awry before it began. A man was whipping a small puppy, and was subsequently attacked by Ned. They pulled Ned off the man and got Ben and Ned (and the puppy, inadvertently) to the Blue Turtle, owned by Salvatore's friend, Kostas Krimboti. Ben gave the puppy, now named Amico ("friend"), to Kostas. However, the man who Ned attacked tipped off Al Misurata, who went off after the Blue Turtle.
A storm came, and both ships were hit. Because the Sea Djinn was so large, it was not affected much. Bomba tried to take Serafina to his cabin after Otto broke the Troupe out, but Otto broke Bomba's neck and threw him overboard. Mummo, prompted by Otto, called out that a man had fallen overboard. Ghigno believed the story that the Rizzoli troupe told, that Bomba had been drunk and had broken the door, but after hearing that Mama Rizzoli would call for Ghigno, Bomba fell overboard.
Meanwhile, the Blue Turtle was tossed by the waves and sprung a leak. They were forced to bail the ship...
Kostas took Ben to a bar to meet up with Janos Cabar, an old friend of his that runs a smuggling group called the Istrani Wolves. She agrees to take Ben to the location where Al Misurata is going to trade the Rizzoli Troupe. Ben pays Janos some ancient gold coins to help free the Rizzoli Troupe. Ben and Ned are left in a bar to wait for her but they leave without permission in search of Al Misurata because they saw the Sea Djinn sailing in the port. Ben and Ned find Serafina with Al Misurata. Later, Ben, Ned, and the Wolves find Al Misurata's men camping in a forest not so far from town and launch grenades at them. They free the Rizzoli Troupe and they head out for the Santa Filomena Convent. The Istrani Wolves wish them good luck and soon depart. Ben upsets Serafina telling her that he will have to eventually leave her, and Al Misurata and Ghigno come to capture Ben and the Rizzoli Troupe. Al Misurata strikes Ben with a sword and Ned jumps on him, fiercely biting. Serafina, Ghigno, Ned, and Al Misurata break through the railing and plummet into the sea. Ned survived the drop, however Al Misurata, Ghigno, and Serafina died. Ned was found by the Blue Turtle; Kostas soon attacked the rest of the crew of the Sea Dijnn. The Angel told Ben and Ned to move on and Serafina, as a spirit, told Ben that she would eventually meet him again one day.
- 2006, US, Philomel Books, ISBN 0399245499, Pub. Date: September 2006, Hardcover
- 2006, UK, Viking Children's Books, ISBN 0670913243, Pub. Date: October 2006, Hardcover
- 2007, UK, Puffin Books, ISBN 0141315229, Pub. Date: March 2007, Paperback
- 2007, US, Ace, ISBN 044101528X, Pub. Date: August 2007, Paperback
- 2008, US, Firebird, ISBN 0142412465, Pub. Date: September 2008, Paperback
|Books in the Castaways series, by Brian Jacques|
|Castaways of the Flying Dutchman||The Angel's Command||Voyage of Slaves|