The Dark Continent Series Book 3
By Karen Mercury
It’s 1828, and life is good for the pirates of Madagascar…
Their Captain is the Hungarian Count Tomaj Balashazy, a refugee from the U.S. Navy. Count Balashazy rules the coast from his tropical mansion Barataria, a fortress built against enemies he’s made cruising the Indian Ocean. Bitterly cruel, Tomaj feels guilt at the loss of his family in New Orleans, and he wallows in clouds of opium. When the American naturalist Dagny Ravenhurst falls into Tomaj’s lagoon, it’s the beginning of the end of arcadian bliss on the island.
French industrialist Paul Boneaux commands his empire of factories in the central highlands. As the special pet of the psychotic Malagasy Queen Ranavalona, Boneaux enjoys a monopoly over all manufacturing, commerce, and his mistress. Beholden to Boneaux, Dagny and her two brothers need his patronage to survive.
Zeke, fiercely protective of Dagny, yearns to start a legitimate trading post. The gentle and guileless geologist Salvatore believes he can make their fortune mining, and falls for the exotic charms of the Pirate Count. Quartermaster Youx struggles to earn the same love Balashazy had for his first quartermaster, killed in battle with Chinese pirates. And sinister ship’s cook Slushy reveals why he was run out of his job as a bootblack boy in New York.
Dagny’s joyless scientific heart melts for the poetic nature of the Count, who has promised to deliver her the rare aye-aye monkey. The King dies—or is he murdered?—and the Queen gives free rein to her merciless anti-European impulses. The island runs with blood, and only one world can emerge triumphant.
In Madagascar’s utopian paradise, all is… Strangely Wonderful