On Stranger Tides by Tim Powers
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This is what happens when you're the ACTUAL inspiration for the Pirates of the Caribbean movies.
The movies shuffle around some pieces, make it streamlined and less complex, and of course NAME it after a ride.
But the story itself...
It's a truly historical romance that is filled to the brim with press gangs, pirates, hidden islands, Blackbeard, and with so much magic overflowing from the Lao that it absolutely reads like a modern epic fantasy.
It is not a modern epic fantasy. It came out in 1987. And yet... it happens to be one of the most wonderfully described and world-built pirate adventures I've ever read... and there are a lot of them. Some will go big, some will go crafty, but this one rests its laurels on realism and realistic details. DESPITE the magic. Indeed, the magic itself feels as real as the rest. :)
So magical realism? No. There's a lot more magic in this than that. :) Let's just say I was completely sucked in and this could still have been utterly real. (There's even a great deal of discovery about why magic is going away! Hint: head to the stranger tides to find out...)
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