Enslaved no more!
Fight for her freedom,
to free her family!
From her late mother, Kemosha learned Spanish and the dream of freedom, gifts kept secret from the brutal English sea captain who owns the Jamaican plantation and its Black workers.
When Kemosha is sold to a tavern owner in Port Royal, the 15 year old leaves little brother Gregory in cook Marta’s care, promising that she’ll return to get him, someday.
Port Royal is surely “the wickedest place on earth” in 1668, filled with drunken sailors who’ll pay Mr. Powell for “time with her” – but not if she can escape first!
She finds refuge with barrelmaker Ravenhide, the only free Black man in town, who teaches her how to fight with a sword, so she can challenge Powell and win her freedom in a public duel.
Through Ravenhide, Kemosha meets Isabella (even lovelier than the sailors’ song about her) and secures a job as cook on Captain Morgan’s privateer ship, away to fight against the Spanish.
Will she survive being on board the same ship as Mr. Powell?
Can she earn enough to buy Marta and Gregory’s freedom?
Will she ever see her beautiful Isabella again?
The author of 1760-set Cane Warriors (recommended here) brings another blood-spattered page from Jamaica’s history to life in this action-packed adventure.
If you could go back in time to talk to someone from history books, who would you choose?
Book info: Kemosha of the Caribbean / Alex Wheatle. Black Sheep/Akashic Books, 2022. [author site] [publisher site] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.